BOX OFFICE: “King” Viola rules, “Barbarian” buries “Pearl,” “Fletch” is stillborn

A decent Thursday night morphed into a big Friday, and “The Woman King,” the African history lesson starring Viola Davis, is owning its opening weekend with a whopping $19 million take at the box office.

It’s like a non-super-heroic “Black Panther” back story based on real West African history, and the Oscar winner Davis carries it like a queen.

“Barbarian” is holding up well, with a $6.5 million second weekend pushing it over the $21 million mark by midnight Sunday.

Ti West’s “X” prequel, written by and starring Mia Goth as “Pearl,” isn’t doing “X” numbers. And “X,” you might remember, didn’t blow up the box office. “X” opened at $4, “Pearl” is clawing its way to $3.2. I didn’t think it was nearly as good as “X,” so we’ll have to see if word-of-mouth saves it.

The period piece murder-mystery comedy “See How They Run” opened not quite as wide as “Pearl,” and is teetering towards a $2.7 million take. It’s cutes and aimed at an older audience. Let’s see if they find it. With a lean release slate in the coming weeks, they’ll certainly have time to.

“Bullet Train” is $2.6 million closer to “$100 million, according to It’s over $96 now, and should hit $100 by the end of next week.

And Neon’s IMAX Bowie doc “Moonage Dream” cracked the top ten with a middling $1.2 million take.

Paramount released a cute but no blockbuster version of “Fletch,” “Confess, Fletch,” on 516 screens…and on Paramount+. That’s the best place for this Jon Hamm reboot, as it only managed $255K this weekend in theaters. Love to see more “Fletch” films, expect to see them on Paramount+.

More new releases opening wide don’t really show up until the end of this month, with “Avatar” coming back out next week to gin up interest in the sequel set for Dec.

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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