Viola Davis stars in Sony’s “The Woman King.”
The Woman King settled at the box office during its second weekend in theaters.
The Sony movie is expected to generate $11.2 million in ticket sales domestically from Friday through Sunday, down 42% from its opening weekend. Typically blockbuster movies drop 50%-70% from the first weekend to the second weekend.
“Evidence that The Woman King is in it in the long run is reflected in its 42% drop in its second weekend,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at comScore. “As expected, word of mouth and the awards season helped make the film a must-see cinematic event.”
Box office analysts expect The Woman King to easily recoup its $50 million production budget, and have the potential to expand to a wider audience as word-of-mouth spreads, much like Paramount and Skydance’s Top Gun: Maverick in recent months.
Additionally, Warner Bros. Don’t Worry Baby, which has a production budget of $35 million, is expected to make $19.2 million over its opening weekend domestically.
“The Woman King” and “Don’t Worry Darling” are a welcome injection of business for theaters during a lull in the theatrical calendar and for studios building their pipeline of original content and adult-led drama. Low-budget movies like this don’t hit huge numbers at the box office but provide much-needed supplemental revenue to movie theaters.
Production delays caused by the coronavirus outbreak combined with the push to put content on streaming services led to fewer theatrical releases in 2022, compared to pre-pandemic times. So far this year, only 50 films have been released domestically in more than 2,000 locations, which is a drop of nearly 40% from 2019.
While big-budget franchise films dominate the box office charts, films with small to medium budgets are just as important to the theatrical ecosystem. Without them, the domestic box office would lose billions in ticket revenue.
“The Woman King is another great example of original content that connects with and inspires moviegoers on its long-running box office trajectory that could culminate in award season nominations in the coming months,” said Shawn Robbins, Senior Analyst at BoxOffice. com.