‘The Woman King’ Eyes Long Haul At Fall Box Office After Hot TIFF Premiere With 100% Rotten Tomatoes – Weekend Preview

The Viola Davis African warrior epic The Woman Kinga flashback to the type of historical epics Columbia Pictures has had a long history of notching Oscars with– is looking at a $12M opening this weekend, per Sony, while rivals have it in the $13M-$16M range.

While adults made their way back to the box office this summer, giving Top Gun: Maverick a $700M-plus stash and putting Elvis at $150.3M stateside, the question remains how they’ll come out a time when there’s very little on the marquee. The hope is that this Gina Prince-Bythewood feature about the Agojie — a unit of powerful female warriors in the Kingdom of Dahomey, one of the most powerful states of Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries — will leg out and find crossover audiences, especially as awards season kicks in. Women over 25 and African American audiences poised to buy tickets. Coming off its Toronto Film Festival world premiere Friday, Woman King is at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes off 46 reviews.

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Toronto Review: Viola Davis In Gina Prince-Bythewood’s ‘The Woman King’

Previews start at 3 p.m. Thursday in 3,200 locations, expanding to 3,700 venues by Friday. Woman King will have the benefit of Imax and PLF screens. eOne co-financed the $50M TriStar Pictures release, which was steered by the label’s production boss Nicole Brown. Davis stars in and produced the film

The comps here are pre-pandemic: 2019’s Harriet, which opened to $11.6M, finaled at $43M and earned two Oscar noms, and the Davis-starring-and-produced Widows, which debuted to $12.8M and made $42.4M domestic in 2018.

. - Credit: A24
. - Credit: A24


Also going wide this weekend is writer-director Ti West’s horror film Pearl starring Mia Goth, based on characters she created with the filmmaker. The A24 pic is the origin story of their horror pic, X, which blasted off at SXSW back in March. X opened to $4.2M at 2,865 theaters and finaled at $11.7M this past spring. The pic, which is at 86% fresh on RT, follows Pearl, who’s trapped on her family’s isolated farm. There she must tend to her ailing father under the bitter and overbearing watch of her devout mother. Lusting for a glamorous life like she’s seen in the movies, Pearl finds her ambitions, temptations, and repressions, all colliding. Booked at 2,900 theaters, Pearl is looking at a similar opening to XOn Thursday, 140-plus theaters will present a double feature of and Pearl. The third film in the franchise, MaXXXine, was announced at TIFF.  Fans have supported Pearl with near-sold-out Alamo screenings that feature a livestreamed Q&A. The pic world-premiered out of Venice.

Gina Prince-Bythewood, Viola Davis, Cast, And Producers Of ‘The Woman King’ Discuss The History Of The Agojie – Toronto Studio

. - Credit: Focus Features
. - Credit: Focus Features

Focus Features

In limited release, Focus Features has The Silent Twins at 279 locations. The pic from Polish director Agnieszka Smoczynska and produced by and starring Letitia Wright, which had its world premiere at Cannes in May, tells the true story of June and Jennifer Gibbons, identical twins who grew up in Wales and became known as “the silent twins” because of their refusal to communicate with anyone but each other. Reaching teenage-hood, they fall in love with the same boy, and the world seems to blossom before going sideways. The pic is a production of Kindred Spirit, 42, Madants/Nem Corp and 30West. There are plans for the pic, which is 68% on RT, to expand.

Cannes Review: Letitia Wright In ‘The Silent Twins’

Courtesy of Lionsgate - Credit: Lionsgate
Courtesy of Lionsgate - Credit: Lionsgate


Elsewhere, Fathom Events released Kevin Smith’s Clerks III from Lionsgate in 1,200 theaters for a $1.1M total. Lionsgate teamed with Fathom very early on in the process, following the success that they had with Jay & Silent Bob Reboot in 2019. The non-traditional release allowed Smith the flexibility to tour the film as part of a theatrical roadshow prior to and after the Fathom release, presenting the film in a more intimate way. The box office consists of both Fathom events as well as roadshow presentations from around the U.S. Clerks III will continue to play into this weekend.

Kevin Smith Q&A On ‘Clerks III’: “Bring Tissues! It’s An Emotional Movie&#8221

At $44.1M per Comscore, last weekend ranked as the second-lowest-grossing frame of 2022, after the Jan. 28-30 bottom of $34.9M. All of this as distribution grapples with a lack of marquee product, which doesn’t arrive until mid-October with Universal/Miramax/Blumhouse’s Halloween Ends and Warner Bros./DC’s Black Adam. Last weekend, 20th Century Studios’ horror movie Barbarian saw a bit of a lift from some word of mouth, moving its projected single-digit opening to $10M. Expect the film’s second sesh to ease by 55% this weekend.

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