Woman King rules North American box office

Published Mon, Sep 19, 2022 · 04:56 PM

THE Woman King, an epic about an all-female army of African warriors, easily topped the North American box office this weekend with an estimated take of US$19 million, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations has reported.

The new Sony release, loosely based on a true historical episode, stars Oscar-winner Viola Davis as the fierce general who leads an army known as the Agojie as it protects the 18th-century kingdom of Dahomey.

Days earlier, Davis told AFP that she felt “conflicted” because if the Black-led, woman-dominated film fell short, it would unfairly damage the prospects for future such endeavours.

Instead, boosted by a favourable critical reception – “Reviews are sensational”, said the FranchiseRe website – it exceeded analysts’ expectations, more than tripling the ticket sales of the next-highest finisher, 20th Century Studio’s Barbarian.

That horror film tells the story of a woman (Georgina Campbell) who checks into an AirBnB rental in a sketchy Detroit neighbourhood, only to find it has also been booked by an oh-so-creepy Bill Skarsgard. Barbarian took in US$6.3 million for the Friday-through-Sunday period.

In third place was a slasher film, Pearl, a new low-budget release from A24, with ticket sales just over US$3.1 million. Mia Goth stars in a blood-soaked tale that involves the brutal use of both an axe and a pitchfork, on animals and humans. Enough said.

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Searchlight’s comic mystery, See How They Run, placed fourth in its opening weekend, at US$3.1 million.

Sam Rockwell stars as an often-inebriated Scotland Yard detective, Saoirse Ronan as his eager but hapless assistant, and Adrien Brody as a sleazy Hollywood director in London to make a film version of Agatha Christie classic, The Mousetrap – until fate intervenes.

And in fifth place was Sony action thriller, Bullet Train, starring Brad Pitt, at US$2.5 million.

Rounding out the top 10 were:

Top Gun: Maverick (US$2.2 million)

DC League of Super-Pets (US$2.2 million)

The Invitation (US$1.7 million)

Minions: The Rise of Gru (US$1.3 million)

Moonage Daydream (US$1.2 million)



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