Autumn box office is in now full swing as the final calendar week of summer brings the debut of Sony’s The Woman King with hopes of starting to alleviate the recent industry slump.
Viola Davis leads the period wartime epic aiming for an adult audience turnout following a severe lack of appealing content on the big screen in recent weeks. The film is sitting in pristine fashion with critics so far thanks to a 100 percent Rotten Tomatoes score from 36 reviews as of this writing.
Tracking has been scattered as models try to pinpoint exactly what past comparison titles are most appropriate for The Woman King. The samples range from recent films like Beast and Where the Crawdads Sing to pre-pandemic titles like Harriet, Hustlers, and Widows. More bullish benchmarks could point to fall releases like Ad Astra and Gemini Man thanks to this film’s potentially diverse appeal anchored by its action elements.
Pre-sales are strong in select markets but the broader view is more cautious with this being a non-IP release. In other words, however Thursday’s number turns out, it’s safe to expect a strong internal weekend ratio and long legs ahead.
Sony will distribute The Woman King at more than 3,700 locations this weekend with IMAX and other PLF formats in its arsenal, and the studio expects around a $12 million weekend. Previews begin at 3pm across 3,200-plus theaters on Thursday. Co-financed by eOne, the film’s production costs are estimated at $50 million.
Other studios are taking a shot at those empty auditoriums this weekend with a handful of other wide and limited releases.
A24’s Pearl is tracking similarly to films like Men and X earlier this year with an expected footprint approaching 3,000 theaters (though not yet confirmed by the distributor).
Meanwhile, Searchlight Pictures is sending See How They Run to an estimated 2,200 locations.
Among other releases this weekend are Neon’s Moonage Daydream David Bowie documentary going at an estimated 400 venues and UP2U Films’ Running the Bases at over 1,000 sites.
Holdovers should see mostly soft decline with only a few exceptions. Last week’s top film, Barbarian, will lose PLF status to Woman King but could otherwise begin to show staying power among horror fans thanks to positive reviews and the approaching Halloween season.
The Woman King
Weekend Range: $16 – 21 million
Weekend Range: $2.5 – 4.5 million
See How They Run
Weekend Range: $1 – 2.5 million
Weekend Forecast & Location Count Projections
Current projection ranges call for a 17 to 27 percent increase from last weekend’s $33.9 million top ten aggregate.
|Film||Distributor||3-Day Weekend Forecast||Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, September 18||Location Count Projection (as of Wed)||3-Day % Change from Last Wknd|
|The Woman King||Sony Pictures||$18,000,000||$18,000,000||~3,500||NEW|
|Barbarian||20th Century Studios (Disney)||$5,700,000||$20,100,000||~2,340||-46%|
|Bullet Train||Sony Pictures||$2,400,000||$96,300,000||~2,500||-27%|
|Top Gun: Maverick||Paramount Pictures||$2,200,000||$709,000,000||~2,600||-30%|
|DC League of Super-Pets||Warner Bros. Pictures||$2,000,000||$87,700,000||~2,700||-25%|
|See How They Run||Searchlight Pictures (Disney)||$1,900,000||$1,900,000||~2,200||NEW|
|The Invitation||Sony Pictures||$1,500,000||$21,200,000||~2,400||-44%|
|Minions: The Rise of Gru||Universal & Illumination Animation||$1,400,000||$364,200,000||~1,900||-20%|
|Brahmāstra: Part One – Shiva||Star Studios||$1,300,000||$6,900,000||~800||-71%|
*All forecasts are subject to revision before the first confirmation of Thursday previews or Friday estimates from studios or official sources.
Theater counts are updated as confirmed by studios. The above table does not necessarily represent the top ten as some studios do not finalize weekend location counts and/or an intent to report box office returns prior to publishing.