“The Woman King,” the historical action epic starring Viola Davis, took in $1.7 million at the box office from its Thursday night preview screenings, which opened at 3 p.m. on 3,271 screens. The Sony and eOne film will launch at 3,765 locations this weekend.
In its opening weekend, the studio projects “The Woman King” to earn $12 million against a $50 million budget. This weekend will also see the box office launch of the David Bowie documentary “Moonage Daydream” (in a limited release) and “Pearl,” the prequel to A24’s “X.”
For a comparison, the 2018 heist thriller “Widows,” in which Davis also starred, made $600,000 in box office previews and went on to generate $12.3 million its opening weekend. “Harriet,” another historical drama that opened in the fall of 2019, also earned $600,000 at the Thursday box office, kicking off an $11.6 million opening weekend.
Set in the 1800s, “The Woman King” presents an alternative history of the almighty African Kingdom of Dahomey and its fleet of female warriors, the Agojie. Davis stars as the unit’s powerful general who must train a new generation of fighters to fend off an enemy who is intent on destroying their way of life.
The film is directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood and written by Dana Stevens from a story by Stevens and Maria Bello. Thuso Mbedu, Lashana Lynch, Sheila Atim, Hero Fiennes Tiffin and John Boyega also star. Producers are Cathy Schulman, Davis, Julius Tennon and Bello, with Peter McAleese serving as Executive Producer.
It held its festival premiere at TIFF on Sept. 9 and holds a 96% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Neon will release “Moonage Daydream” as a one-week exclusive on 170 IMAX screens and will expand to standard format theaters the following week.