Despite Offscreen Controversies, ‘Don’t Worry, Darling’ Opens To A Solid $21M At The Box Office.


Don’t Worry, Darling, a high-profile drama from Warner Bros., is on track for a solid $21 million domestic debut after grossing more than $9.4 million from 4,113 theatres on Friday (Sept. 23), including $3.1 million in Thursday previews and special Imax screenings on Monday.


Don’t be concerned. Darling received a B- CinemaScore (Wilde’s previous film, Booksmart, received a B+). The B- could have a negative impact on word-of-mouth. The same goes for negative feedback. Wilde’s sophomore directing effort currently has a 35% critics’ score on Rotten Tomatoes, lowering its chances of winning an award and making it more difficult to attract older adults, who are known to rely on reviews when deciding whether to go to the movies.

Tracking and Warner Bros. estimated a $17 million opening weekend. However, based on advance ticket sales, exhibitors expected the film to gross between $20 million and $24 million (some think even higher). The film was made for a relatively low budget of $35 million, and it appears to be on track to break even.


Analysts believe the film’s most valuable asset in terms of box office performance is the legions of young females devoted to Harry Styles, who stars alongside Pugh and Chris Pine in Wilde’s high-concept psychological thriller about a young couple living in an idyllic, cult-like community.

They seem to be correct. Females made up a whopping 73 percent of the audience on Friday, with 67 percent of ticket buyers aged 18 to 34.


Hollywood insiders are sceptical that the general public is interested in the off-screen drama. The publicity, if anything, raises awareness.

Don’t be concerned. Darling competes with The Woman King’s second weekend and the rerelease of Avatar, the highest-grossing film of all time.

Woman King, from Sony and eOne, should finish second with $10 million to $10.8 million, a good hold. On Friday, the film grossed $3 million from 3,765 theatres.

The Avatar rerelease is expected to gross $9 million or more over the weekend, up from $3.3 million in 1,860 theatres on Friday. Overseas, it began with a sizable $11 million. With over $2.84 billion in ticket sales, the film remains the highest-grossing film of all time.

The sequel Avatar: The Way of Water, directed by James Cameron and produced by Jon Landau, is set to be released in December. Returning the original film to theatres is just one part of a massive marketing campaign orchestrated by Disney and 20th Century Studios.

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