TORONTO – The Woman King premiered this weekend and the box office numbers well-exceeded expectations! Racking in $19 million on its opening weekend, the film did 25% better than experts initially predicted. The film also received a stellar score of 95% on Rotten Tomatoes. This comes as box office numbers and theatre attendance have decreased and struggled throughout the year.
The new film starring Viola Davis, Lashana Lynch, Thuso Mbedu, and John Boyega is based on the true story of the Dahomey Amazons, an all-female military in the West African region now known as Benin. The new movie features an all-Black cast, the likes of which we haven’t seen since Black Panther. Online, people just couldn’t get enough – and we don’t blame them!
Audiences React to The Woman King
“The Woman King is magnificent. I absolutely loved it. And then during the talkback, Viola Davis shared that she read Hunger as part of her preparation for the role and I died,” shared feminist and scholar Roxanne Gay.
“I saw “The Woman King” and was incredibly moved by it. It’s an epic war movie, full of raw emotion, full-bodied performances and masterful action sequences. Lashana Lynch was phenomenal. It does not try to gloss over the slave trade or the role it played in the kingdom,” tweeted filmmaker Nijla Mu’min.
Mu’min’s tweet references the history of the Dahomey Kingdom selling African slaves to Europeans during the transatlantic slave trade, which many were worried would be left out of the story.
“Now that it’s out, I can say this: The people telling you to boycott The Woman King, for the reasons they’re stating, sound crazy because the film literally deals with the reasons they’re stating,” said another person.
“Yes I sure did go see The Woman King for the third time this week! Yes it is that good!! Yes, it awakens our thirst for new storytelling. Yes it raises timeless questions about intra- African complicity. And yes these performances are breathtaking. See it. And then we talk,” said Kimberly Crenshaw of the think tank African American Policy Forum.
If you’ve seen the film let us know in the comments, how do you feel?