The Woman King, a historical epic by Viola Davis, ruled the weekend box office.
Directed by Gina Prince Bythewood, the film topped 3,765 theaters in North America and grossed $19 million at the box office, according to Comscore. This drama follows the all-female army of the Agojie, who defended the West African kingdom of Dahomey from the 17th century to the 19th century.
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 you really feel like you are in the “Motherland” when you’re on the set.
“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 Inspo and Black Women Capability
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 movies are in theaters this weekend, including Ti West’s horror flick Pearl and crime thriller See How They Run, starring Saoirse Ronan and Sam Rockwell, both of which earned places in the top five.
Opinions expressed by Artist Weekly contributors are their own.