“The Woman King” Scores Big in Theaters, Highlights Women’s Fight for Equality

The second weekend in theaters was great for the film “The Woman King.” Starring Oscar-award winner Viola Davis, the Sony film is set to garner over $11.2 in domestic ticket sales from Friday to Sunday.

While it represents a 42% drop in sales compared to the first weekend, the rate is better than blockbuster films. According to statistics, many blockbuster films see a 50% to 70% drop during their second weekend.

Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst from Comscore, said, “Proof that ″The Woman King’ is in it for the long haul is reflected in its 42% second-weekend drop. As expected, great word of mouth and awards season buzz has helped the film to become a must-see movie event.”

Analysts say that with the pace “The Woman King” takes in terms of ticket sales, it would not be long before revenue would be able to cover the $50 million production budget and, even more, exceed the sales it had initially expected to gain. Furthermore, box office analysts likened “The Woman King” to other films like “Top Gun: Maverick” that has gained traction among varied audiences in recent months.

Other productions like “Don’t Worry Darling” are also seeing positive results as it is projected to earn around $19.2 million in its opening weekend, which is more than half its production budget totaling $35 million.

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Lower budget films are making waves

Productions like “The Woman King” and “Don’t Worry Darling” give limelight to low-budget films making big in the theatres. The expected prominence of these kinds of films is a good sign for business for theatre owners. While their revenue is not yet at a level the same as global blockbusters like “Avatar” or “Avengers,” the earnings from these films give supplementary revenue to cinemas.

The pandemic has significantly reduced the number of films going out in cinemas, incurring billions of losses. Films and movies have migrated to online streaming platforms so they can be released as scheduled. Now that restrictions have been eased, film productions have started to air in cinemas.

However, the number of films airing inside cinemas is still low compared to the pre-pandemic period. In 2022, only around 2,000 films aired, which is a 40% drop from the volume recorded in 2019.

″‘The Woman King’ is another great example of original content connecting with and inspiring moviegoers on its course for a lengthy box office run that could be capped by award season nominations in the months ahead,” Shawn Robbins said, a chief analyst from BoxOffice.com.

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“The Woman King” reflects the struggle of women

Oyeronke Oyebanji, a Nigerian feminist, watched the movie and expressed several of her opinions after seeing the production and its plot.

“As a Nigerian feminist, I have always been curious about how feminism has evolved in my country and culture. So naturally, I was curious to see “The Woman King,” the new movie about an all-female troop of warriors in a 19th-century West African kingdom,” she said.

“I’m not surprised by what I saw. But I am sad to report that the inequalities faced by the women in the movie do indeed reflect the struggles that women today face in many parts of the world, including West Africa.”

Oyebanji added that the movie shows how persistent gender inequality is in the history of the world, and it is worse for women of color, who are not just discriminated against because they are women, but because of their color.

“By exploring the lives of these bold women, the film illustrates how the lack of equal rights for women is a problem that has lasted for centuries. While I was deeply inspired to see an all-female army led by a strong woman, I was also dismayed by the inequalities that these soldiers had to suffer. Unlike their male counterparts, the Agojie women were not allowed to marry or become parents as in theory they belonged to the king,” she added.

Meanwhile, Viola Davis, who starred and produced the film, resonated with the film, saying that she was carried away by the message of the movie.

“What felt different was ownership, agency, controlling my voice. It’s our story. There is no white savior in the movie. There’s none. We save ourselves,” the award-winning artist said.