‘Don’t Worry Darling’ Drives Toward $21 Million Box Office Opening


Warner Bros./New Line’s “Don’t Worry Darling” has gone from tepid reviews and weeks of behind-the-scenes gossip to a solid start at the box office, earning $9.4 million from 4,113 locations as of Friday Now For a weekend start of $21 million, just above forecasts for a $17-$20 million opening.

Directed by Olivia Wilde and starring Florence Pugh and Harry Styles, the thriller was produced on a reported budget of around $35 million. So this premiere puts the film on track to make a modest box office profit if it gets some help from foreign theaters. The Venice premiere of Don’t Worry Darling was littered with constant rumors of animosity between Wilde and Pugh during the film’s production, and critiques from critics during and after the festival didn’t help, with a score of 38% on Rotten Tomatoes.

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Audiences were a little kinder to “Don’t Worry Darling,” giving it a B- on CinemaScore along with an 83% viewer rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 67% positive rating on Comscore/Screen Engine’s PostTrak. That kind of word-of-mouth won’t get it a lot of legs, but Darling should be in theaters long enough to make it past its low break-even point. As expected, two-thirds of the film’s viewers on premiere night were female, according to CinemaScore polls.

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In second place is Sony/eOne’s “The Woman King,” which is estimated to make $10 million in its second weekend, down a decent 47% from its $19 million opening weekend. The historical epic starring Viola Davis is estimated to total $35.5 million over 10 days.

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20th Century’s re-release of James Cameron’s “Avatar” took third place with an industry estimate total of $9 million over the weekend after grossing $3.3 million on Friday. The 4K HDR remaster of the sci-fi epic also includes new footage from the upcoming sequel The Way of Water, out in December.

It’s a solid start for this two-week series of re-releases, which was forecast to be between $8 million and $11 million over the weekend, though it’s about half the $17 million made by Cameron’s other big box-office hit, Titanic, if the time has come got a new 3D edition in 2012.

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20th Century’s “Barbarian” is in fourth place and continues to show stronger legs than most slasher films with an estimated $4.7 million in its third weekend, bringing its total to $28 million. Another slasher, A24’s “Pearl,” completes the top five with an estimated $1.8 million second weekend for a total of $6.6 million over two weekends.

Meanwhile, more than four months after its June release, Universal’s big summer blockbuster, Jurassic World: Dominion, finally broke the $1 billion mark and joined its two predecessors in the 10-figure box office club. The blockbuster is only the third blockbuster since the pandemic began, alongside Spider-Man: No Way Home and Top Gun: Maverick, to reach $1 billion worldwide, with the combined grossing of the Jurassic World trilogy now US dollars exceed 6 billion.



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