Don’t Worry Darling
Warner Bros. historical psychological thriller Don’t Worry Darling debuted in first place with $19.2M. That’s about in line with pre-release projection, if slightly on the lower end, with some projections closer to $22M.
Compared to some other adult-skewing September releases from recent years, its opening is about comparable to:
- 2013’s Prisoners ($20.8M)
- 2012’s Looper ($20.8M)
- 2011’s Moneyball ($19.5M)
- Last weekend’s The Woman King ($19.0M)
- 2019’s Ad Astra ($19.0M)
Darling was also playing in 4,113 theaters, an unusually large reach for a film like this, making for a $4,668 per-theater average. All of the top 10 locations were AMC sites, with AMC Century City Los Angeles ranking #1.
The top 10 markets were:
- Los Angeles
- New York
- San Francisco
- Washington, D.C.
Word of mouth has been mixed, with a 38% Rotten Tomatoes critics average and an 81% audience average, one of the widest such discrepancies in recent memory. The audience CinemaScore was a “B-.”
Overseas, the film started with $10.8M in 62 markets, for a $30.0M global opening. The top overseas markets total is the U.K. ($3.1M).
The Woman King
Sony Pictures’ historical action drama The Woman King, starring Viola Davis, debuted last weekend with $19.0M in first place, on the higher end of pre-release projections.
This weekend it falls -41% to $11.1M and second place.
Compared to other comparable female-led action films starring Academy Award winners, that drop was milder than:
- 2017’s Atomic Blonde with Charlize Theron (-55%)
- 2018’s Red Sparrow with Jennifer Lawrence (-50%)
- 2018’s Annihilation with Natalie Portman (-49%)
- 2017’s Kidnap with Halle Berry (-49%)
However, it was steeper than several other comparable action or historical drama titles of recent years:
- Hidden Figures (-9%)
- Selma, the Martin Luther King biopic (-22%)
- 12 Years a Slave (-31%)
- 2018’s Widows, which also starred Viola Davis (-33%, although its sophomore frame fell on Thanksgiving weekend)
- Django Unchained (-34%)
- 42, the Jackie Robinson biopic (-36%)
- 2019’s Harriet, the Harriet Tubman biopic (-37%)
- July’s Where the Crawdads Sing (-40%)
Overseas, Woman’s box office has barely started with only $1.3M so far, with most major markets yet to open.
[Read Boxoffice PRO’s interview with The Woman King director Gina Prince-Bythewood here.]
20th Century Studios’ IMAX 3D re-release of James Cameron’s original 2009 Avatar earned $10.0M in third place. That was slightly on the higher end of pre-release projections, which were closer to the $8M-$9M range.
For comparison, its opening was:
- 2.5x above 2010’s Avatar re-release, about eight months after its original release ($4.0M)
- +85% above September’s re-release of 2021’s Spider-Man: No Way Home ($5.4M)
- 9.3x above August’s re-release of 1982’s E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial ($1.0M)
- 3.8x above September’s re-release of 1975’s Jaws ($2.6M)
However, it was also lower than some other blockbuster re-releases:
- -42% below 2012’s re-release of James Cameron’s 1997 Titanic ($17.2M)
- -55% below 2012’s re-release of 1999’s Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace ($22.4M)
- -46% below 2013’s re-release of 1993’s Jurassic Park ($18.6M)
- -20% below 2009’s re-release of 1995’s Toy Story ($12.4M)
- -66% below 2011’s re-release of 1994’s The Lion King ($30.1M)
- -43% below 2012’s re-release of 1991’s Beauty and the Beast ($17.7M)
The Avatar re-release contains a mid-credits sequence containing a sneak peak of December’s sequel Avatar: The Way of Water.
The re-release opening also took 93% of its earnings from 3D, a notably higher percentage than for the original Avatar’s opening (74%).
Domestically, the estimated audience was 56% male and 57% ages 25+.
Overseas, the re-release opened with $20.5M in 50 markets, for a $30.5M global opening. Top market totals include France ($2.9M), Italy ($1.5M), Germany, the U.K., South Korea, and Mexico (all with $1.3M).
75% of the film’s overseas opening came from premium formats, including 3D, IMAX, and/or immersive seating, a somewhat lower percentage than domestically.
Boxoffice PRO has interviewed several filmmakers behind current releases:
- The Woman King director Gina Prince-Bythewood, here.
- The Retaliators producers Michael Lombardi (who also stars) and Allen Kovac, here.
- Bullet Train director David Leitch, here.
- Beast director Baltasar Kormákur, here.
- The Invitation director Jessica M. Thompson, here.
- Where the Crawdads Sing director Olivia Newman, here.
Total box office this weekend came in around $59.1M, which is:
- +15% above last weekend’s total ($51.0M), when The Woman King led with $19.0M.
- +23% above the equivalent weekend in 2021 ($47.9M), when Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings led for a second consecutive frame with $21.6M.
- -52% below the equivalent weekend in the last pre-pandemic year 2019 ($123.4M), when Downton Abbey led for a second consecutive frame with $31.0M.
Year-to-date box office stands around $5.54B. That’s:
- 2.32x this same point in the pandemic recovery year of 2021 ($2.38B), down from 2.35x after last weekend.
- -33.2% behind this same point in 2019, the last pre-pandemic year ($8.30B), down from -32.9% last weekend. The peak was around -29.5%, set in mid-July.
- Universal ($1.26B)
- Paramount ($1.17B)
- Disney ($880.8M)
- Sony Pictures ($744.0M)
- Warner Bros. ($736.3M)
Sunday’s Studio Weekend Estimates:
|Title||Estimated weekend||% change||Locations||Location change||Average||Total||Weekend||Distributor|
|Don’t Worry Darling||$19,200,000||4,113||$4,668||$19,200,000||1||Warner Bros.|
|The Woman King||$11,145,000||-42%||3,765||n/c||$2,960||$36,298,724||2||Sony Pictures|
|Avatar||$10,000,000||1,860||$5,376||$770,507,625||20th Century Studios|
|Barbarian||$4,800,000||-26%||2,890||550||$1,661||$28,430,261||3||20th Century Studios|
|See How They Run||$1,900,000||-37%||2,502||98||$759||$6,105,039||2||Searchlight Pictures|
|Bullet Train||$1,815,000||-29%||1,907||-695||$952||$99,247,954||8||Sony Pictures|
|DC League of Super Pets||$1,765,000||-19%||2,351||-405||$751||$90,041,911||9||Warner Bros.|
|Top Gun: Maverick||$1,559,847||-30%||2,025||-579||$770||$711,568,000||18||Paramount|
|Minions: The Rise of Gru||$1,040,000||-25%||1,642||-328||$633||$365,547,230||13||Universal|
|The Invitation||$1,000,000||-43%||1,676||-749||$597||$23,083,944||5||Sony Pictures|
|Brahmastra Part 1: Shiva||$415,000||-62%||460||-350||$902||$7,523,960||3||Fox Star India|
|Cuando Sea Joven||$270,000||315||$857||$270,000||1||Pantelion Films|
|Running The Bases||$235,000||-56%||697||-383||$337||$1,039,028||2||UP2U Films|
|On the Come Up||$150,000||603||$249||$150,000||1||Paramount|
|Thor: Love and Thunder||$100,000||-73%||230||-590||$435||$343,152,809||12||Walt Disney|
|The Silent Twins||$32,000||-69%||279||n/c||$115||$185,655||2||Focus Features|
|Buried: The 1982 Alpine Meadows Avalanche||$18,358||8||$2,295||$18,358||1||Greenwich|
|Bodies Bodies Bodies||$18,254||-77%||172||-189||$106||$11,413,075||8||A24|
|Marcel the Shell with Shoes On||$15,552||-53%||25||-91||$622||$6,306,639||14||A24|
|Everything Everywhere All At Once||$9,057||-40%||28||-15||$323||$69,993,469||27||A24|