Weekend Box Office: The Woman King is King w/ $19M Debut

Photo Credits: Sony / TriStar ("The Woman King')

The Woman King

Sony Pictures’ historical action drama The Woman King, starring Viola Davis, debuted with $19.0M in first place.

That’s on the higher end of pre-release projections, which forecast it around $16M-$18M. It also snaps an ignominious three-weekend streak in which the top film earned around $10M or less. 

[Read Boxoffice PRO’s interview with The Woman King director Gina Prince-Bythewood here.]

Compared to other comparable female-led action films starring Academy Award winners, that $19M opening was:

  • +4% above 2017’s Atomic Blonde with Charlize Theron ($18.2M)
  • +12% above 2018’s Red Sparrow with Jennifer Lawrence ($16.8M)
  • +71% above 2018’s Annihilation with Natalie Portman ($11.0M)
  • +89% above 2017’s Kidnap with Halle Berry ($10.0M)

Compared to some other comparable female-led action or historical drama titles of recent years, it also started:

  • +10% above July’s Where the Crawdads Sing (17,253,227)
  • +41% above 2018’s Peppermint (13,423,255)
  • +53% above 2018’s Widows (12,361,307)
  • +62% above 2019’s Harriet (11,676,720)

Earning an A+ CinemaScore bodes well for King’s likely box office hold in the coming weeks. Its overseas rollout begins in October.

Barbarian

Last weekend’s leader, 20th Century Studios and New Regency horror-thriller Barbarian, debuted in first place with $10.5M, slightly above pre-release projections which had it closer to $8M.

In its sophomore frame, it fell -40% to $6.3M and second place.

Compared to the other biggest horror titles of 2022, Barbarian’s sophomore drop was steeper than:

  • August’s Bodies Bodies Bodies (-24%)
  • August’s The Invitation (-28%)

However, it was milder than:

  • June’s The Black Phone (-48%)
  • May’s Firestarter (-48%, after being released day-and-date simultaneously in cinemas and on Peacock)
  • March’s X (-49%)
  • January’s Scream (-59%)
  • May’s Men (-64%)

Overseas, Barbarian has opened in very few markets so far, only earning $1.0M total overseas. Its global total stands at $21.9M.

Pearl

A24’s horror Pearl started in third place with $3.1M, about in line with pre-release projections, if perhaps on the slightly lower side.

Compared to distributor A24’s three other main horror releases from 2022, that’s:

  • -27% below March’s X ($4.2M)
  • -5% below May’s Men ($3.2M)
  • Less than -1% below August’s Bodies Bodies Bodies ($3.12M)

See How They Run

Searchlight Pictures’ historical comedy-mystery See How They Run was off to a running start, starting in fourth place with $3.1M. That’s slightly higher than most pre-release projections, which had it closer to $2M.

Versus the peak weekends for other comparable comedy releases over the past few years from Searchlight Pictures and its predecessor Fox Searchlight, that $3.1M opening was:

  • +19% above 2021’s The French Dispatch ($2.6M wide debut in 788 theaters)
  • +19% above 2018’s The Favourite ($2.6M)
  • -21% below 2019’s Jojo Rabbit ($3.9M)
  • -33% below February 2020’s Downhill ($4.6M)

The estimated opening weekend audience for See was 54% female and 81% ages 25+.

The film began rolling out overseas last weekend and has now earned $4.5M overseas, most of it in the U.K. ($3.2M). Its global total stands at $7.6M.

Top Gun: Maverick

Paramount’s Top Gun: Maverick declined only -27% to $2.3M and sixth place in its 17th weekend. That’s the #39-biggest seventeenth weekend of all time.

After earning “only” the #41 opening weekend of all time ($126.7M), it has remained near the top of all time for every frame since, and usually top-10. The past two frames in particular, at #29 and now #39, it’s started to fall a little back back to earth:

  • #8 second weekend of all time ($90.0M)

  • #10 third weekend ($51.8M)

  • #3 fourth weekend ($44.6M)

  • #4 fifth weekend ($29.6M)

  • #4 sixth weekend ($25.5M)

  • #7 seventh weekend ($15.5M)

  • #8 eighth weekend ($12.3M)

  • #6 ninth weekend ($10.2M)

  • #10 tenth weekend ($8.4M)

  • #17 eleventh weekend ($7.0M)

  • #9 twelfth weekend ($7.0M again)

  • #13 thirteenth weekend ($5.8M)

  • #13 fourteenth weekend ($4.7M)

  • #7 fifteenth weekend ($6.0M)

  • #29 sixteenth weekend ($3.1M)

  • #39 seventeenth weekend ($2.3M)

One of the few films to ever record a higher seventeenth weekend? 1986’s original Top Gun, which ranks #20 all time on that measure with $3.2M.

Overseas, Maverick stands at $754.2M, for $1.46B globally – the top film of 2022 both globally and domestically. The top five overseas market totals to date include:

  1. U.K. ($102.0M)

  2. Japan ($93.6M)

  3. South Korea ($67.2M)

  4. Australia ($64.3M)

  5. France ($58.2M)

Moonage Daydream

Neon’s IMAX documentary Moonage Daydream about David Bowie opened in tenth place with $1.2M in only 170 theaters, less than 10% the count of this weekend’s other widest films.

That gross is about equal to the opening of 2018’s documentary Whitney about Whitney Houston (also $1.2M). It’s also the second-best opening of the past year for a film playing in <200 theaters, behind only The French Dispatch ($1.3M in 52 theaters).

Daydream’s $7,206 per-screen average was also the highest of any film in release this weekend. It will expand to 600+ theaters domestically next weekend.

Overseas, the film debuted in 28 markets with $1.4M, for a $2.6M global opening.

Brahmāstra: Part One – Shiva

Last frame, Hindi-language action-adventure Brahmāstra: Part One – Shiva started in second place with $4.5M, on the slightly higher end of pre-release projections which were around $3.5M.

This weekend, it falls -76% to $1.1M and eleventh place.

Compared to the other highest-grossing Indian films of recent years, that sophomore drop is steeper than:

  • 2016’s Dangal (-35%)
  • 2014’s P.K. (-52%)
  • 2015’s Baahubali: The Beginning (-56%)
  • 2017’s Baahubali 2: The Conclusion (-67%)

However, it’s milder than for March’s RRR (-83%).

In India itself, Shiva dropped -66% in its sophomore frame, a milder decline in that country than for other post-pandemic blockbuster titles including Thor: Love and Thunder, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and Eternals.

Shiva has now earned $31.6M overseas and $6.8M domestically, for a $38.4M global total.

Elsewhere at the box office

  • Lionsgate’s comedy sequel Clerks III released starting midweek this past Tuesday, as a specialty title in conjunction with Fathom Events. This weekend it earned $576K in 1,006 theaters, for a $2.1M domestic total so far. 2006’s Clerks II earned a $10.0M opening.
  • Last frame, Fathom Events’ faith-based Lifemark debuted in seventh place with $2.1M. This weekend, it falls -68% to $680K. Compared to some other pandemic-era faith-based films, that fall is substantially steeper than: 2021’s American Underdog (-33%), May’s Family Camp (-37%), April’s Father Stu (-38%), or January’s Redeeming Love (-50%)
  • .Ahead of its October 21 domestic release, Universal’s romantic comedy Ticket to Paradise expanded in 39 additional markets on its second overseas weekend, for 46 total markets. It earned $12.0M this frame, for a $14.7M overseas total to date.

Interviews

Boxoffice PRO has interviewed several directors behind current films:

  • Read Boxoffice PRO’s interview with The Woman King director Gina Prince-Bythewood here.
  • Read Boxoffice PRO’s interview with Bullet Train director David Leitch here.
  • Read Boxoffice PRO’s interview with Beast director Baltasar Kormákur here.
  • Read Boxoffice PRO’s interview with The Invitation director Jessica M. Thompson here.
  • Read Boxoffice PRO’s interview with Where the Crawdads Sing director Olivia Newman here.

Weekend comparisons

Total box office this weekend came in around $48.2M, which is:

  • +14% above last weekend’s total ($42.2M), when Barbarian led with $10.5M.
  • -21% below the equivalent weekend in 2021 ($61.3M), when Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings led for a second consecutive frame with $34.7M.
  • -56% below the equivalent weekend in the last pre-pandemic year 2019 ($110.7M), when It: Chapter Two led for a second consecutive frame with $39.6M.

YTD comparisons

Year-to-date box office stands around $5.46B. That’s:

  • 2.35x this same point in the pandemic recovery year of 2021 ($2.31B), down from 2.40x after last weekend.
  • -32.9% behind this same point in 2019, the last pre-pandemic year ($8.14B), down from -32.4% last weekend. The peak was around -29.5%, set in mid-July.

Top distributors

  1. Universal ($1.26B)
  2. Paramount ($1.17B)
  3. Disney ($880.6M)
  4. Sony Pictures ($722.8M)
  5. Warner Bros. ($714.6M)

Title  Estimated weekend  % change Locations Location change Average  Total  Weekend Distributor
The Woman King $19,000,000   3,765   $5,046 $19,000,000 1 Sony Pictures
Barbarian $6,300,000 -40% 2,340   $2,692 $20,915,433 2 20th Century Studios
Pearl $3,124,600   2,935   $1,065 $3,124,600 1 A24
See How They Run $3,100,000   2,404   $1,290 $3,100,000 1 Searchlight Pictures
Bullet Train $2,500,000 -24% 2,602 -454 $961 $96,381,145 7 Sony Pictures
Top Gun: Maverick $2,180,477 -31% 2,604 -401 $837 $709,055,000 17 Paramount
DC League of Super Pets $2,175,000 -18% 2,756 -287 $789 $87,860,007 8 Warner Bros.
The Invitation $1,700,000 -36% 2,425 -692 $701 $21,468,901 4 Sony Pictures
Minions: The Rise of Gru $1,320,000 -24% 1,970 -304 $670 $364,099,540 12 Universal
Moonage Daydream $1,225,000   170   $7,206 $1,225,000 1 Neon
Brahmastra Part 1: Shiva $1,100,000 -76% 810   $1,358 $6,769,739 2 Fox Star India
Beast $820,000 -54% 1,664 -1,129 $493 $30,766,160 5 Universal
Where the Crawdads Sing $700,000 -44% 1,521 -469 $460 $88,875,124 10 Sony Pictures
Running The Bases $545,500   1,080   $505 $545,500 1 UP2U Films
Nope $410,000 -51% 671 -471 $611 $122,746,455 9 Universal
Thor: Love and Thunder $373,000 -63% 820 -1,030 $455 $342,944,605 11 Walt Disney
God’s Country $300,000   785   $382 $300,000 1 IFC Films
Confess, Fletch $260,000   516   $504 $260,000 1 Paramount
Spider-Man: No Way Home — The More Fun Stuff Version $220,000 -84% 860 -2,355 $256 $813,977,753 40 Sony Pictures
Jaws $210,000 -68% 702 -544 $299 $272,159,580   Universal
Orphan: First Kill $135,464 -56% 224 -204 $605 $5,350,000 5 Paramount
Fall $125,000 -20% 213 -54 $587 $6,893,115 6 Lionsgate
The Silent Twins $102,000   279   $366 $102,000 1 Focus Features
Bodies Bodies Bodies $78,385 -61% 361 -290 $217 $11,354,812 7 A24
The Black Phone $67,000 -38% 125 -60 $536 $89,857,800 13 Universal
Jurassic World: Dominion $64,000 -61% 205 -243 $312 $375,977,460 15 Universal
Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris $56,000 -56% 226 -115 $248 $10,318,385 10 Focus Features
Marcel the Shell with Shoes On $33,321 -66% 116 -45 $287 $6,277,343 13 A24
Easter Sunday $16,000 -69% 82 -53 $195 $13,005,330 7 Universal
Everything Everywhere All At Once $15,100 -44% 43 -3 $351 $69,975,475 26 A24
The African Desperate $12,126   2   $6,063 $12,126 1 MUBI

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