In light of the controversy around the slave trade and the main charater's role in it, Congrats are in order to Gina Price Bythewood’s The Woman King for scoring a top spot at the box office. The film was greatly received at the Toronto Film Festival last week. Rotten Tomatoes has currently certified it Fresh at 94%.
The Woman King has stirred up plenty of controversy and emotion in its first weekend which may have propelled it into the top of the box office revenues. Word-of-mouth has often translated to over three times their opening weekend expectations.
The Woman King is a 2022 American historical epic film about the Agojie, the all-female warrior unit that protected the West African kingdom of Dahomey during the 17th to 19th centuries. Set in the 1820s, the film stars Viola Davis as a general who trains the next generation of warriors to fight their enemies.
The film has achieved higher than expected results at the box office and has led to a great deal of debate on the subject matter and its accuracy. The next edition will address that concern but for the time being, The Woman King is another big win for Viola Davis, the veteran actress that has now emerged as a bonafide superstar. More on that later too. Let look at just how successful The Woman King has become.
The Woman King appears likely to be a member of the top 10 films of the year revenue wise at least through the end of October, especially given its A+ Cinemascore. (Top Gun: Maverick is the only other “A+” of 2022.) Looking at the box office impact of diverse audiences, that grade is also not uncommon for films with primarily African-American casts. It may not be enough to cover the film’s budget, but it could still be a success story in other ways.
The criticism against the film resulted in the twitter hashtag #BoycotTheWomanKing but the social media effort came before the release of the film. The argument is that the African tribe shown on screen, the Dahomey, as well as their all-female military regiment, the Agodjie, are presented as righteous, empowering liberators in all the marketing thus far . In reality, they were knee-deep in the Atlantic slave trade. The record is horrific. The Dahomey was one of a handful of tribes in the 17th/18th/19th centuries that captured and sold off Black slaves to Europeans; a means of trade they continued until the British actually forced them to stop in the mid-1800s.
Be sure to check back to learn more on the true history of this story and gain insight about the phenominal actors that brough thte story to life.
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