The Woman King, a historical epic by Viola Davis, dominated the weekend box office.
The film, directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, debuted at No. 1, garnering $19 million throughout 3,765 theaters in North America, per Comscore. The drama follows Agojie, the all-woman army that safeguarded Dahomey, a West African kingdom, between the 17th to 19th centuries.
EW’s Leah Greenblatt referred to the film as “stirring reimagining,” a “spirited and often thrilling action epic elevated by the regal, rigorous commitment” of Davis. The latter forecasted The Woman King’s box office success in an interview in her B review.
“Every part of it was divine and magical,” said Davis in an interview with EW about shooting the drama, which also features Lashana Lynch, Thuso Mbedu, and John Boyega.
“You have to understand that when you’re fighting for a film to get made, there are moments on the journey that you really go to a dark place within yourself and say, ‘It’s not going to happen. It’s just not going to happen, I dreamed the biggest dream, and it’s not going to happen.”
The writer added that the set feels like you’re really in the “Motherland.”
“And then it does,” the award-winning creator said. “And you’re on that set, and you’re in the Motherland, and you’re looking at all these extraordinary actors, and you are just loving them, enjoying them.”
The Woman King as Inspiration
Davis looks forward to The Woman King inspiring audiences to “tap into the warrior spirit within themselves,” but at the same time stand as an example of what Black women are capable of doing.
“We can lead the box office,” she continued. “Black women can be at the center of a narrative, and we can lead a global box office and make movies that are meaningful to everybody.”
Alongside The Woman King, new films in theaters this weekend include Ti West’s horror movie Pearl, and the crime mystery See How They Run featuring Saoirse Ronan and Sam Rockwell, both secured spots in the top five.