The Woman King is sitting on its throne after dominating the box office during its opening weekend. The film, led by Viola Davis, had a fantastic run in North America, no doubt thanks to the fact that we have never really seen a film quite like it. It easily bested other film releases over the weekend, earning $19 million according to estimates from Sony yesterday.
Based on the Agojie, a female warrior unit in the Kingdom of Dahomey in West Africa in the early 1800s, the film looks at these fearsome women led by Davis’ General Nanisca, who is training up the next generation of warriors. Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, The Woman King premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, where Davis gave an impassioned speech that left the audience cheering. It isn’t just the festival goers who are cheering over this movie, as word of mouth is likely to take this film onwards and upwards.
The film has received a 94 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a rare A+ CinemaScore from audience goers on top of the glowing reviews it received in Toronto. The film was released in the U.S.A. on Sept. 16 by Sony and TriStar in 3,765 locations. Including the $1.7 million made during previews, on Friday’s opening day The Woman King brought in $6.8 million with Saturday adding another $7.15 million. Sony estimated that Sunday would see a further $5 million in ticket sales. As believed, women have turned up for the film making up 60 percent of the audience so far.
Coming in behind was the horror film Barbarian, in its second weekend since release the film made $6.3 million. Despite having numerous releases this weekend, the film industry is still running a little slow. The horror sequel Pearl is falling a little behind its predecessor, X, raking in $3.124 million, and receiving standard reviews and grades for a horror movie, though nothing to really talk about. See How They Run, starring Saoirse Ronan and Sam Rockwell, which was released in the U.S.A a week after its U.K release, hasn’t received the most phenomenal reviews, earning 70 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, and is expected to bring in $3.1 million over the weekend.
With no date given yet for an online release, it looks like the film is committed to a theatrical run, and given that cinema-goers are now looking for more original stories in the theatre The Woman King is certainly filling that need. You can catch the action epic in cinemas now.