Film Review - The Woman King
This image released by Sony Pictures shows Viola Davis in "The Woman King." (Sony Pictures via AP)
entertainment

‘The Woman King’ takes North American box office throne

30 Comments
By LINDSEY BAHR

The Viola Davis-led action epic “ The Woman King ” easily conquered the North American box office in its first weekend in theaters, against a crowded market of new releases. The film, directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, surpassed expectations and earned $19 million in ticket sales, according to estimates from Sony on Sunday.

“The Woman King” was released by Sony and TriStar in 3,765 locations and carries a reported production budget of $50 million, which was co-financed by eOne. The film, about the Agojie, the all-female army of the Kingdom of Dahomey in West Africa in the 1800s, got glowing reviews after its debut at the Toronto Film Festival. It currently boasts a 94% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. And theatrical audiences seem just as enthusiastic, giving it a rare A+ CinemaScore suggesting that word of mouth will be strong in the coming weeks.

“This one has great reviews, an epic story and a great star in the lead role," said Paul Dergarabedian, Comscore’s senior media analyst. “People want to go to the movie theater and audiences are back in the habit of expecting new movies in theaters."

The horror movie “Barbarian,” a 20th Century Studios release, took second place in its second weekend with $6.3 million.

It was a jam-packed week for new releases at the domestic box office that included the A24 horror prequel “ Pearl,” Searchlight’s starry mystery pic “ See How They Run,” NEON’s David Bowie documentary “ Moonage Daydream,” Paramount and Miramax’s “Confess, Fletch,” with Jon Hamm, and Focus Features’ “The Silent Twins.” But even though most boasted good reviews, it was still a slower week for the business overall.

“See How They Run,” a 1950s-set murder mystery with Saoirse Ronan and Sam Rockwell, is estimating a $3.1 million domestic debut from 2,404 locations.

Ti West’s “Pearl” also took in estimated $3.1 million. A24 released the film starring Mia Goth as a farmgirl who dreams of movie stardom on 2,935 screens. The first film “X” opened $4.3 million in March and the studio has already greenlit a third film, “MaXXXine.”

Brett Morgen's Bowie documentary “Moonage Daydream,” meanwhile, debuted exclusively on IMAX screens this weekend, where it made $1.2 million in North America and landed in 10th place.

“This may not be a blockbuster-filled corridor, but this is a great weekend,” said Dergarabedian. “There’s all this talk of the post summer doldrums or slowdown, but there’s a lot of new movies out there. You just have to look for the gems.”

Next week will see the release of Olivia Wilde’s much-discussed “Don’t Worry Darling," which could give a boost to the box office. But blockbuster numbers likely won't return until October and even November when the superhero movies return with “Black Adam” and “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”

© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.


30 Comments
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Amazing in this day and age that a film celebrating slavers could be so popular.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Sad that to get a black woman hero they have to rewrite history change facts turn slavers into the heroes!

The group in question were the primary slavers they didn't free anyone on the contrary they enslaved their neighbours.

The King of this group died the sacrifices 800 slaves , these are the facts.

Now look at rotten tomatoes 99% audience claim 500 reviews fewer than 300 most fewer than 5 words.

Look on other sites and the scores are less than 50% positive with actual reviews.

This would be like the last Samurai ( which was a joke) having the Samurai win, the emperor losing

Or a more a

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Cont...

Or a more accurate comparison.

If a movie on the USA civil war had the south fighting for blacks freedom.

That is basically what this movie is!

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Sick how this reviewer glorified slave traders

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dahomey

The growth of Dahomey coincided with the growth of the Atlantic slave trade, and it became known to Europeans as a major supplier of slaves.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dahomey_Amazons

The Dahomey Amazons (Fon: "Agojie", "Agoji", "Mino", or "Minon") were a Fon all-female military regiment of the Kingdom of Dahomey

The emergence of an all-female military regiment was the result of Dahomey's male population facing high casualties in the increasingly frequent violence and warfare with neighbouring West African states. This led to Dahomey being one of the leading tribes in the slave trade with the Oyo Empire, which used slaves for commodity exchange in West Africa until the British Empire brought an end to the slave trade in the region. The lack of men likely led the kings of Dahomey to recruit women into the army.

This is disgusting,

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

The fact this gor made, the fact the truth got destroyed, the fact that despite posting only facts some down vote the truth tells us the sad state of our modern education system, especially in the USA.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Enough is enough.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

A movie based on a true story. How accurate is the movie? Extensive dramatic license.

According to the media, there are no superheroes in the movie.  

"It's a story mostly left out of Western history books that start Black history with slavery. Most of the literature on Dahomey and the Agojie is told from the viewpoint of colonists, who "have a desire to dehumanize this kingdom, these women (and) make us look like savages," says Prince-Bythewood, adding that it wasn't until the filmmakers stumbled upon journals and spoke to descendants that they began to see a different side. "

"Dahomey was organized for war, not only to expand its boundaries but also to take captives as slaves. Slaves were either sold to the Europeans in exchange for weapons or kept to work on the royal plantations that supplied food for the army and court."

Slaves were in Africa for thousands of years.

Over the period of the Atlantic Slave Trade, from approximately 1526 to 1867, some 12.5 million captured men, women, and children were put on ships in Africa, and 10.7 million arrived in the Americas.

Dahomey cannot be compared with the British Empire and the slave trade.

Dahomey was absorbed into a French colony. The kingdom finally fell in 1894 when the last king, Béhanzin, was defeated by France in the Second Franco-Dahomean War.

Slavery is never acceptable but there were many in history and around 50 million people today are slaves.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/real-warriors-woman-king-dahomey-agojie-amazons-180980750/

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

wallace

Today 09:19 am JST

A movie based on a true story. How accurate is the movie? Extensive dramatic license.

There is "dramatic license" and there is plain lying.

This movie's premise is this group of female Warriors going to save and free slaves.

This is clearly beyond dramatic license and pure distortion of history.

Can you imagine a movie on the USA civil war about a Southern military unit on a mission to save and free slaves?

It is as insulting to facts and history as that.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Antiquesaving

you have watched the movie then?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Fact-checking 'The Woman King': What really happened, what didn’t in Viola Davis' historical epic.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/movies/2022/09/17/the-woman-king-movie-fact-check-how-accurate/7876620001/

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Woman King?

It's called a queen.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Slavery has always been in existence in Africa-Africans enslaving Africans.

And the present day?

Arabs enslave Africans

Not only in Africa, Haitians are doing it today to each other too.

The Europeans and Americans do not…

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The group in question were the primary slavers they didn't free anyone on the contrary they enslaved their neighbours.

The King of this group died the sacrifices 800 slaves , these are the facts.

Or maybe like in 300 the Spartans at the Battle of Thermopylae were the defenders of Western democracy and civilization; while in actuality they hunted their Helot slaves for sport.

Hollywood takes liberties, it is nothing new.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Haven’t seen this.

I take it those commenting on it have.

Is it ‘woke’?

Remember the ‘Go woke, go broke’ idea as this film seems to be doing well at the box office.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Woman King.

Man Queen.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The fact this gor made, the fact the truth got destroyed, the fact that despite posting only facts some down vote the truth tells us the sad state of our modern education system, especially in the USA

So you have seen the film and are not just regurgitating what others have said about it.

That’s a relief.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Sorry to labour the point, but can the people here who’ve seen the film tell us exactly what the film gets wrong historically, and on a lighter note, is the film any good?

I find film reviews can be influenced by people carrying partisan political baggage ( the silly woke v anti-woke handbags at ten paces ).

Thanks in advance. I might go to see it.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Jimizo

Sorry to labour the point, but can the people here who’ve seen the film tell us exactly what the film gets wrong historically, and on a lighter note, is the film any good?

This article appears good.

Fact-checking 'The Woman King': What really happened, what didn’t in Viola Davis' historical epic.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/movies/2022/09/17/the-woman-king-movie-fact-check-how-accurate/7876620001/

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This article appears good.

> Fact-checking 'The Woman King': What really happened, what didn’t in Viola Davis' historical epic.

> https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/movies/2022/09/17/the-woman-king-movie-fact-check-how-accurate/7876620001/

Seriously?

Why not fact check the article you posted.

Look up King Ghezo (or more correctly Gezo).

At his death 800 slaves were sacrificed.

Much of what is claimed in the article cannot be verified and was claimed over one hundred years after the facts.

What are fact is that they didn't stop slavery or raiding their neighbours, they continued until the French that had the neighbouring colonies had enough of the raids and wiped them out including the women warriors.

People can try and claim otherwise but the reality is as soon as they found a new client they returned to the slave trade, the new client came in the form of the Ottoman Empire as they lost their east Africa supplier when the British deposed the Sultan or Zanzibar and eventually ending the east Africa slave trade.

So the Dahomey seeing great opportunity and the Ottoman wanting slaves came to a deal.

Next.

Look at the costumes, then Google Dahomey, Agojie they looked nothing like in the movie.

At least they could have gotten that accurate!

But I guess scantily clad oiled skimmed mohawks gets more attention than fully clothed and short afro hair.

Next movie, will be a Southern Confederate regiment, bare chest oiled up, raiding northern camps to free the black people.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

"Ghezo, also spelled Gezo, was King of Dahomey (present-day Republic of Benin) from 1818 until 1859. Ghezo replaced his brother Adandozan (who ruled from 1797 to 1818) as king through a coup with the assistance of the Brazilian slave trader Francisco Félix de Sousa. He ruled over the kingdom during a tumultuous period, punctuated by the British blockade of the ports of Dahomey in order to stop the Atlantic slave trade."

"Ghezo finally ended Dahomey's tributary status to the Oyo empire but also dealt with significant domestic dissent and pressure from the British to end the slave trade. He promised to end the slave trade in 1852, but resumed slave efforts in 1857 and 1858. Ghezo was assassinated in 1859, and his son Glele became the new king. "

News of his death was carried in American newspapers, with reports stating that 400 captives were murdered in his honor. 

Actual facts are hard to come by. 400, not 800. Captives or slaves? Some sources claim 800.

The facts are short on how he was assassinated.

"Various causes of death have been suggested, including poisoning by Dahomey priests upset at the ending of human sacrifice, smallpox, or death in battle. In reality, he was likely assassinated by a sniper hired by his enemies from Abeokuta.

"It is claimed that there was a prophecy made in the early 1850s that if Ghezo attacked the city of Ekpo, under the control of Abeokuta, he would die as a result. This may explain his resistance to the war against them in 1858. Regardless, he died very soon after the campaign in 1859."

https://bahamianology.com/800-slaves-sacrificed-in-tribute-on-the-death-of-gezo-the-great-slave-king-of-dahomey-1858/

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

For those thinking there is no problem with taking historical liberties.

Then let's do it with other things.

Example:

The Confederate States were not fighting to keep slavery but for state rights.

Hitler was not racist or anti-Semitic but just protecting the German people.

Putin is only protecting ethnic Russians.

The Chinese are not persecuting the Uyghurs, they are just looking out for China's safety.

See how nice rewriting the historical facts are!

Be very careful when opening certain boxes they can be Pandora's.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

For those thinking there is no problem with taking historical liberties.

Then let's do it with other things.

Let’s not. I really don’t see the point in getting angry about imagination.

Maybe watch documentaries or read history books, though those in themselves have only as much ‘truth’ as the director or writer allows.

Entertainment really isn’t your cup of tea.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Bob Fosse

Today 06:18 pm JST

For those thinking there is no problem with taking historical liberties.

> Then let's do it with other things.

> Let’s not. I really don’t see the point in getting angry about imagination.

> Maybe watch documentaries or read history books, though those in themselves have only as much ‘truth’ as the director or writer allows.

> Entertainment really isn’t your cup of tea

I guess you haven't seen the advertisement claiming it is based on a true story.

So I guess no one will have a problem with the silent movie "The birth of a Nation" which portrays the KKK as heroes, after all as you put it

Let’s not. I really don’t see the point in getting angry about imagination.

Now let's see people Defend that movie and the KKK.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Antique,the South were fighting too keep slavery as an institution,you might get away your opinion ,with foreigner,I am American that know and live American history everyday, Canada played a role in the abolition of slavery,after the Congress gave slave state the right to go North and recapture freed slave,forcing them to flee into Canada

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

Yrral

Today 08:11 pm JST

You seem to have missed the point!

These women, this tribe were slavers not freedom fighters!

To be exact most of the black Americans that take DNA tests the results come back as Benin, because that is the precise area of this tribe, the fact that the tribe was near completely wiped out by the French would mean that any DNA connection to Africa by American black people points to the Dahomey being the enemy of their slave ancestors.

So the irony here is Viola Davis's family was more than likely sold into slaver by the Dahomey and here she is glorifying the people that are responsible for her family being slaves.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Antique,this is my first time knowing about this,Canada did more to end slavery, because it deprived the South of their prized assets slaves

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Note the big deal trying to make it seem like a great opening day.

To put into context.

Top gun 2 did $52 million opening day.

A movie I never even heard about called "Nope" made $42 million opening day in July.

So it may sound big but in reality $19 million is not much and despite the $50 million cost the break even is $125 million and the biggest backlash is coming from the black community wi hashtag boycott woman king.

The actress Lupida Nyongo was supposed to play Viola Davis's daughter but after finding out the true story she pulled out.

This article and others keep pointing out that the history was written by Europeans but in reality the Dahomey are vilified in Benin, no one in that country sees them as anything but Salve traders.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

The average African-American genome, for example, is 73.2% African, 24% European, and 0.8% Native American.

Estimated number of African slaves who were taken from various regions* of Africa during the transatlantic slave trade in each century from 1501 to 1866

West Central Africa and St. Helena: 5.7 million

Bight of Bennin: 2 million.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/1150475/number-slaves-taken-from-africa-by-region-century/

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I guess you haven't seen the advertisement claiming it is based on a true story.

The advertising claims it is ‘based on powerful true events’.

I’d recommend watching the movie yourself and making your own mind up.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

wallaceSep. 19  09:19 am JST

Slaves were in Africa for thousands of years.

Over the period of the Atlantic Slave Trade, from approximately 1526 to 1867, some 12.5 million captured men, women, and children were put on ships in Africa, and 10.7 million arrived in the Americas.

Slaves were in Britain since the 11th century.

The British slave trade that started in the 16th century was responsible for enslaving millions of Africans.

An estimated 2.3 million African slaves were sent to the British Caribbean.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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