Dahomey Women’s Biopic “The Woman King” Debuts With $19 Million At North American Box Office

“The Woman King” took the North American box office by storm after bringing in $19 million over the weekend following its release. 

The Sony production which stars Emmy, Oscar and Tony-winning actress Viola Davis is a historical epic that tells the story of the Agojie, the all-female army of the Kingdom of Dahomey – located in present-day Benin – in West Africa during the 1800s.

Davis played Nanisca, a seasoned warrior who trains the next generation of recruits to fight a larger rival African kingdom and European slave traders. 

The movie was released in the cinemas on Friday, September 16, and has spurred interaction and comments among movie lovers. 

Box Office Numbers from Friday (September 16th) through Sunday (September 18th):

The Woman King — US$19 million

Barbarian — US$6.3 million

Pearl — US$3.1 million

See How They Run — US$3.1 million

Bullet Train — US$2.5 million

Top Gun: Maverick — US$2.2 million

DC League of Super Pets — US$2.2 million

The Invitation — US$1.7 million

Minions: The Rise of Gru — US$1.3 million

Moonage Daydream — US$1.2 million

In an interview with AFP on Wednesday, Davis revealed that it took a year-long push to get the movie made. She then described it as a defining moment in her career. 

“We’re at the center of the narrative. You know, Black women, dark-skinned black women, crinkly-haired, Black women. You know, there is no white savior. We’re no one’s best friend. We have our autonomy, our agency in this. And it’s a hell of a story that is—it’s not just an action movie. It’s a historical drama and it allows us to humanize women who have typically not been humanized. It is very much the actors in the movie have experienced some of the same thing that the characters have of feeling unwanted, feeling not desired, feeling not adored, sort of the throwaways, but yet finding that strength within themselves to be a warrior. It is both feminine, strong, all of those things. It is, it literally is for me, the movie that’s defined my career.”

After feeling initial pressure and conflicting emotion from getting the movie done, she however expressed pride that the movie was made citing how difficult it is for films with a predominately Black cast especially a cast led by Black women.

“We don’t have enough hours, enough days to describe how hard it is to get films made in Hollywood with Black people in it, but especially Black women. There are no words to quantify it. And I wish that there were microphones in the room. I wish there were cameras in the room so you could see what the day-to-day fight is and you would understand that this is something to be celebrated.”  

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