The Woman King, starring Academy Award-winning actress Viola Davis, owned the domestic box office charts, earning $19M during its opening weekend.
After earning an A+ CinemaScore, the film exceeded the initial expectations of about $15 million to $18 million; with Sony projecting the movie to hit $12 million. Per a Deadline report, The Woman King debuted with $6.85M on Friday, including $1.7 million in Thursday previews. Audiences gave it a 95% positive on Comscore/Screen Engine’s PostTrak.
The Gina Prince-Bythewood directed film tells the true story of the all-female warrior unit known as the Agojie, who protected the West African kingdom of Dahomey from the 17th to 19th centuries. Alongside Davis, The Woman King also stars John Boyega, Thuso Mbedu, Lashana Lynch, Sheila Atim, and Hero Fiennes Tiffin.
“I’d really like to see the industry inspired by such a story, inspired by bringing so many great actors and actresses together,” Boyega said in a previous interview with ESSENCE. “And also, to continue exploring the continent [Africa] for more stories.”
Women made up a large percentage of the weekend’s sales, accounting for 61% of ticket buyers. According to PostTrak, 59% of moviegoers were Black, 19% were Caucasian, 12% were Hispanic and 10% were Asian. In addition to the favorable criticism from audiences nationwide, the film also received great reviews from its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival earlier this month.
Upon its debut at the TIFF, Davis spoke about the film’s potential impact, as well as how grateful she was for the opportunity to participate in a project of this magnitude. “This film is for the risk-takers,” she said. “This film is for the people who maybe even are the naysayers — who never believed that a Black woman, especially dark-skinned women, can lead a global box office.”
“This film is for the Black women who are out there on the periphery, a conduit, a vehicle to shine a beautiful and glorious light,” the actress added. “I’m really proud to be a part of that.”