Box Office: ‘The Woman King’ Earns $1.7 Million in Thursday Previews

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Sony’s “The Woman King,” starring Viola Davis, has earned $1.7 million at the domestic box office, as theatergoers slowly embrace one of the first major studio releases in a few weeks.

The historical epic, co-financed by eOne and TriStar Pictures, is aiming for a $15 million opening this weekend, where it doesn’t face much competition from rival releases. Other projections see a launch as high as $18 million to $20 million, or as low as $12 million. “The Woman King” comes with a $50 million price tag, so results on the lower end would be less than royal for Sony.

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Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood (“The Old Guard,” “Love & Basketball”), the movie premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last week, where it had a warm reception from attendees. Set in the 1820s, the film stars Davis as a powerful general of the Agojie, an all-female military regiment that protected the West African kingdom of Dahomey. The cast includes John Boyega, Lashana Lynch, Thuso Mbedu and Sheila Atim.

“The Woman King” will face off against the A24 horror movie “Pearl,” a follow-up to this year’s March release “X,” both directed by Ti West. “Pearl” is a prequel to “X” and tells the origin story of Mia Goth’s murderous matriarch. West and A24 already announced a third movie in the horror series, titled “MaXXXine,” which will be a direct sequel to “X.” At the box office this weekend, “Pearl” is expected to have a debut in the low millions, which would align with the $4.2 million launch “X” had earlier this year.

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