US box office ruled by ‘Woman King’
Viola Davis film holds off horror flick 'Barbarian'
Gina Prince-Bythewood has the No. 1 movie in the world right now with The Woman King. This is a wonderful thing. GPB, for the unfamiliar, has been making excellent films for more than 20 years, starting with her debut classic, 2000’s Love & Basketball.
The Woman King, which stars the Queen of Overacting, Viola Davis, looks gorgeous and is getting amazing reviews. In its opening weekend, the film brought in a solid $19 million over its first three days. Don’t be surprised if this one gets a handful of Oscar nominations, and maybe even wins Best Cinematography. Gorgeous.
Also at the box
Horror flick Barbarian took the No. 2 spot at the box with another $6.3 million in sales. The film sold just under $21 million over its first 10 days of release. This one, starring Georgina Campbell, Bill Skarsgård, and Justin Long, looks really promising to me.
Ti West’s second film of the year, horror flick Pearl, took the No. 3 spot over its first weekend of release with a sad $3.12 million. As much as I love that both West and Prince-Bythewood have films in the Top 10, I can’t help but note that this is easily the year’s slowest time. Everyone is starting school or enjoying the late summer weather or streaming Cobra Kai and Stranger Things. But I digress.
See How They Run, another fancy whodunit with an incredible ensemble (Saoirse Ronan, Sam Rockwell, Adrien Brody, etc.), took the No. 4 spot with $3.1 million in sales over its first three days of release. A flop. Looks like an industry-made Wes Anderson impression. Also … looks pretty fun to me. I’ll watch it eventually for sure.
Bullet Train continued to stack up the small bills, bringing in another $2.5 million, upping its seven-week worldwide sales total to a decent $222 million. Brad Pitt wins even when he loses.
New this week
This weekend will see the release of family adventure flick The Railway Children Return, as well as a wide re-release of James Cameron’s Avatar. I don’t think either of these are worth leaving your house.
There are a number of smaller films that will start testing in big markets, including Petrov’s Flu, Bandit, Give Me Five, Young Plato, and, most notably, the buzz-worthy Don’t Worry Darling, which is probably the best of the releases, if I had to pick one.
Mostly, I’d say skip the theater this weekend and maybe watch something on the Criterion Channel? I’d recommend Taste of Cherry or Daddy Longlegs.
Top Gun: Maverick is somehow still selling tickets in its 17th weekend of release. I can’t remember the last film that had a run like this.
Maverick has now sold $1.46 billion worldwide, making it one of the five highest grossing films ever. But here’s the thing about that: A movie ticket costs more today than it ever has in history. If we were to judge the success of a film by number of tickets sold, rather than by how much money they bring in, Maverick wouldn’t be anywhere near the Top 20 all-time. In fact, it wouldn’t come close to the two films that sold the most tickets ever: Gone with the Wind and Star Wars: A New Hope. The odds of those two films ever being topped are extremely low.