The Woman King Easily Defeats a Crowded Field

Several films debut over a slow weekend
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 18, 2022 1:40 PM CDT
The Woman King Reigns in Debut
This image released by Sony Pictures shows Viola Davis in "The Woman King."   (Sony Pictures via AP)

The Viola Davis-led action epic The Woman King easily conquered the North American box office in its first weekend in theaters, against a crowded market of new releases. The film, directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, surpassed expectations and earned $19 million in ticket sales, according to estimates from Sony on Sunday. The Woman King was released by Sony and TriStar in 3,765 locations and carries a reported production budget of $50 million, per the AP. The film, about the Agojie, the all-female army of the Kingdom of Dahomey in West Africa in the 1800s, got glowing reviews at the Toronto Film Festival. It currently boasts a 94% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Theatrical audiences seem just as enthusiastic, giving it a rare A+ CinemaScore. Though $19 million is not a blockbuster debut, it's a solid start for the adult-skewing warrior epic.

The horror movie Barbarian, a 20th Century Studios release, took second place in its second weekend with $6.3 million. It was a jam-packed week for new releases at the domestic box office that included the A24 horror prequel Pearl, Searchlight’s starry mystery pic See How They Run, NEON's David Bowie documentary Moonage Daydream, Paramount and Miramax's Confess, Fletch, with Jon Hamm, and Focus Features’ The Silent Twins. But though most boasted good reviews, it was still a slower week for the business overall. See How They Run, a 1950s-set murder mystery with Saoirse Ronan and Sam Rockwell, is estimating a $3.1 million domestic debut from 2,404 locations.

Below are estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at US and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

  1. The Woman King, $19 million.
  2. Barbarian, $6.3 million.
  3. Pearl, $3.1 million.
  4. See How They Run, $3.1 million.
  5. Bullet Train, $2.5 million.
  6. Top Gun: Maverick, $2.2 million.
  7. DC League of Super Pets, $2.2 million.
  8. The Invitation, $1.7 million.
  9. Minions: The Rise of Gru, $1.3 million.
  10. Moonage Daydream, $1.2 million.
(Read more box office stories.)

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