‘The Woman King’ shows why the box office needs more mid-budget movies

Viola Davis stars in Sony’s “The Woman King.”


“The Woman King” held strong at the box office in its second weekend in theaters.

Sony’s film is expected to generate $11.2 million in domestic ticket sales Friday through Sunday, down 42% from its opening weekend. Typically, blockbuster movies will drop 50% to 70% from their first weekend to their second weekend.

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

Box office analysts expect ‘The Woman King’ to easily recoup its $50 million production budget and have the potential to expand to a wider audience as word of mouth spreads. , much like Paramount and Skydance’s “Top Gun: Maverick” in recent months.

Additionally, Warner Bros.’ “Don’t Worry Darling,” a film with a production budget of $35 million, is expected to gross $19.2 million in its domestic opening weekend.

“The Woman King” and “Don’t Worry Darling” are a welcome injection of business for theaters during a lull in the theatrical calendar and for studios building their pipeline of original content and adult dramas. Low-budget films like this don’t make explosive box office numbers, but provide much-needed extra revenue for theaters.

Production delays caused by the coronavirus outbreak coupled with a push to place content on streaming services have led to fewer theatrical releases in 2022, compared to the pre-pandemic period. So far this year, only 50 films have been released domestically in more than 2,000 locations, down nearly 40% from 2019.

While big-budget franchise films dominate the box office charts, low- and mid-budget films are just as important to the cinematic ecosystem. Without them, the national box office loses billions in ticket revenue.

“‘The Woman King’ is another great example of original content connecting with and inspiring moviegoers on its journey to a long run at the box office that could be crowned with awards season nominations in the months to come” , said Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at BoxOffice. com.

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