No sequels, remakes, or recognizable I.P.? No problem.
Gina Prince-Blythewood’s The Woman King cares not for your brand synergy. Armed with nothing but a big old machete and a cast of extremely talented individuals, the Viola Davis vehicle about the West African all-female army, Agojie, opened to a cool $19 million at the box office this weekend, per The Hollywood Reporter. The movie outpaced its $15 million expectations, riding a wave of good word of mouth, an A+ CinemaScore rating, and a powerful trailer. And to think of the competition, audiences had to fight the urge to once again hit play on Robert Zemeckis’ Pinnochio on Disney+ to see The Woman King.
The top five this week looked like a box office from another time. Barbarian, the low-budget horror hit that surprisingly doesn’t bear the words Blumhouse or A24 anywhere in its opening credits, picked up another $6 million this weekend, landing it at number two. Speaking of A24, the indie movie powerhouse, known for taking chances on idiosyncratic filmmakers with innovative and fresh ideas, was the only movie in the top five to get there via a prequel. Pearl, the X-traordianary X origin story, shot its way to stardom with a $3.12 million opening.
Other indies were in the top five. Searchlight Pictures’ See How They Run, a meta, period whodunit starring Sam Rockwell, had nary an Iron Man, a Batman, nor a Skywalker and managed to bring in $3 million at number four. Despite not featuring many beloved Disney characters, all of our favorite friends from See How They Run are now Disney princesses because Disney owns Searchlight. We suppose that [redacted] from Barbarian is also a Disney princess, as Disney owns 20th Century Studios. Welcome to the Magic Kingdom, Inspector Stoppard and [redacted].
Finally, one summer holdover wormed its way into our enjoyment of such a diverse and unlikely top five: Bullet Train edged out Top Gun: Maverick with 2.5 million. Will America’s two most famous movie stars stop messing around and make a Marvel movie together? They’re leaving money on the table.
Here’s the full top 10. Except for the experimental David Bowie documentary, Moonage Daydream, unexpectedly cracking the top 10 and The Invitation sticking around, the rest is filled with your Top Guns, DC League Of Super Pets, and Minions:
1) The Woman King
4) See How They Run
5) Bullet Train
6) Top Gun: Maverick
7) DC League Of Super Pets
8) The Invitation
9) Minions: The Rise Of Gru
10) Moonage Daydream