After weeks without many exciting new film releases, Sony is hoping that Gina Prince-Bythewood’s “The Woman King” can inject some energy into the box office. The Viola Davis-led period epic was a crowd pleaser when it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, and early responses suggest it might be primed to have similar success during its theatrical release. The film has officially received an A+ CinemaScore grade, revealing that audiences are embracing the film in America as much as they did in Toronto.
We hit theaters to poll @WomanKingMovie and audiences gave it an A+! Congrats to @violadavis, @SonyPictures, and the rest of the cast and crew! Will you be catching this one? #CinemaScore pic.twitter.com/Pqnwyr84gH
— CinemaScore (@CinemaScore) September 17, 2022
“The Woman King” is the 91st film to receive a perfect grade from CinemaScore (before this, the most recent was “Top Gun: Maverick”). Since the poll is conducted from people who were already interested enough in the film to see it, a CinemaScore grade is widely seen as a barometer of how much a movie matches its audience’s expectations. Critically acclaimed films like Darren Aronofsky’s “mother” can receive low scores (in that case, an F) if they significantly diverge from being the kind of movie that the marketing campaign promised. Similarly, films that get less-than-enthusiastic responses from critics can receive high CinemaScore grades if they deliver what audiences were expecting.
In this case, however, “The Woman King” is earning praise from both audiences and critics. In her review of “The Woman King,” IndieWire’s Kate Erbland wrote that “the film is bursting with remarkable elements: a vivid and fully realized setting, eye-popping battle sequences (pushing that PG-13 rating to wild ends), richly drawn characters, and wonderful performances from everyone. Good luck picking a standout performance, because while both Davis and [Thuso] Mbedu are the obvious draws, [Lashana] Lynch and Sheila Atim also turn in star-making supporting work, while [John] Boyega makes off with a complicated portrayal of the young king, and Jayme Lawson steals the show every time she appears on screen as one of Ghezo’s [Boyega] more ambitious wives. If this is what a Hollywood-ized and -sized blockbuster looks like in 2022, bring it on.”
“The Woman King” is directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood and written by Dana Stevens and Mario Bello. It stars Viola Davis, John Boyega, Thuso Mbedu, Lashana Lynch, Sheila Atim, Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Jimmy Odukoya, Masali Baduza, Jayme Lawson, and Adrienne Warren.
“The Woman King” is now playing in theaters.