“The Woman King” has found his throne at the box office.
The Sony release sees an expected opening of $18 million from 3,765 locations, in line with most analysts’ estimates going into this weekend. The epic also benefited from the landing of some premium-sized auditoriums, such as Imax, which gave an additional boost to revenue.
While that’s not necessarily a grand opening, it’s a solid start for the action movie, which has a $50 million production budget and has no affiliation with existing franchises. Plus, it’s more than enough for “The Woman King” to hit the top of the box office charts in a slow weekend with few rival releases.
Co-financed by eOne, “The Woman King” started to get a stir when it made a smashing debut at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month. Reviews have been largely glowing ever since, with the film currently holding a mighty 94% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the review-collecting website. In his review for Varietywrote lead film critic Peter Debruge that “the film embraces the codes of mid-20th century costume dramas: it’s rousing but slightly stodgy, designed to stand the test of time.”
However, audience response is proving to be even more favorable, with “The Woman King” receiving the maximum “A+” rating through research firm Cinema Score, indicating ecstatic approval from general moviegoers. Sony hopes strong word of mouth and a landscape without surefire tent poles will benefit the film as it continues to play all fall.
“The Woman King” stars and is produced by Viola Davis, and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood. The feature film tells the true story of a powerful general (Davis) of the Agojie, an all-female army fighting to protect Dahomey, a West African kingdom. Along with Davis, John Boyega, Lashana Lynch, Thuso Mbedu and Sheila Atim star.
Also opening this weekend is A24’s “Pearl,” a Ti West-directed horror prequel to his “X,” released earlier this year. The Technicolor-aping movie looks set to finish in third place, drawing $3.3 million across 2,935 locations. That’s about three-quarters of what “X” brought in in its March debut — that predecessor raked in $13 million worldwide.
The numbers for “Pearl” are rather modest, but the Mia Goth vehicle was filmed in a secret back-to-back production with “X”, which had a reported budget of $1 million before it hit the market. It would be understandable to assume that “Pearl” was an equally modest financial venture — a path to an eventual $10 million gross with video-on-demand sales on the horizon is likely a horror film success story.
More to come…