Viola Davis‘ latest film, The Woman King, has been performing spectacularly at the box office, and started off strong with a $19 million opening weekend. The film’s performance surprised many people because it was projected to only bring in $12 million, and it is not part of an existing franchise or proprietary studio IP. To have that number in Hollywood and not be a part of a large franchise is an achievement that is more than deserving of a strong pat on the back.
Another reason why The Woman King taking off is interesting is because the budget was relatively low compared to many box office hits. The budget for this film was $50 million, which is considered mid-budget in contrast to many film budgets. “Proof that ‘The Woman King’ is in it for the long haul is reflected in its 42% second-weekend drop,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore (via CNBC). “As expected, great word of mouth and awards season buzz has helped the film to become a must-see movie event.”
Women made up 58% of The Woman King’s audience, while Black moviegoers vastly over-indexed in accounting for 56% of ticket buyers, followed by Caucasians (23%), LatinX (15%), Asians (3%) and other (6 %), according to PostTrak.
“Usually, everyone is rooting against you,” says Sony Motion Picture Group Co-Chairman Josh Greenstein. “That’s so true, but everyone is coming together for this one. It’s a win for Hollywood,” TriStar President Nicole Brown, who guided the movie, told The Hollywood Reporter in a September 20 joint interview with Greenstein.
Brown added that The Woman King was “a definitive success” and that Hollywood, being a gigantic business, looks to follow-up success with more success. “I’m proud and excited that Woman King can be a door opener for more black stories to be told. I believe it,” Brown says.
Hollywood is notorious for being late on taking note to how its own atmosphere is changing. Check out another historic moment, like when The Academy issued an apology to an activist 50 years late.
Photo via Ilze Kitshoff/CTMG