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The Woman King takes North American box office throne

The film, about the Agojie, the all-female army of the Kingdom of Dahomey in West Africa in the 1800s, got glowing reviews after its debut at the Toronto Film Festival.

The Woman King takes North American box office throne

This image released by Sony Pictures shows Viola Davis in The Woman King. (Sony Pictures via AP)

The Viola Davis-led action epic The Woman King easily conquered the North American box office in its first weekend in theatres, against a crowded market of new releases. The film, directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, surpassed expectations and earned US$19 million (S$26.7 million) in ticket sales, according to estimates from Sony on Sunday (Sep 18).

The Woman King was released by Sony and TriStar in 3,765 locations and carries a reported production budget of US$50 million, which was co-financed by eOne. The film, about the Agojie, the all-female army of the Kingdom of Dahomey in West Africa in the 1800s, got glowing reviews after its debut at the Toronto Film Festival. It currently boasts a 94 per cent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. And theatrical audiences seem just as enthusiastic, giving it a rare A+ CinemaScore. Though US$19 million is not a blockbuster debut, it’s a solid start for the adult-skewing warrior epic.

The horror movie Barbarian, a 20th Century Studios release, took second place in its second weekend with US$6.3 million.

It was a jam-packed week for new releases at the domestic box office that included the A24 horror prequel Pearl, Searchlight’s starry mystery pic See How They Run, NEON’s David Bowie documentary Moonage Daydream, Paramount and Miramax’s Confess, Fletch with Jon Hamm, and Focus Features’ The Silent Twins. But even though most boasted good reviews, it was still a slow week for the business overall.

See How They Run, a 1950s-set murder mystery with Saoirse Ronan and Sam Rockwell, is estimating a US$3.1 million domestic debut from 2,404 locations.

Ti West’s Pearl also took in estimated US$3.1 million. A24 released the film starring Mia Goth as a farmgirl who dreams of movie stardom on 2935 screens. The first film X opened to US$4.3 million in March and the studio has already greenlit a third film, MaXXXine.

Source: AP/sr
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