Box Office Preview: Controversy-Ridden ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ Could Surprise With $20M-Plus Opening

The second film from director Olivia Wilde should easily win the weekend with between $17 million and $24 million, while the re-release of the first “Avatar” could bring in between $7 million and $10 million.

Director Olivia Wilde’s sophomore film Don’t Worry Darling, which has spent weeks making headlines for one scandal after another, could take the box office by storm this weekend when it makes its debut with $20 million or more.

Official tracking and Warner Bros. are estimating $17 million with additional caution. However, exhibitors are offering a range of $20 million to $24 million based on early ticket sales (some think it could score even more).

The throngs of younger female fans of Harry Styles, who co-stars in Wilde’s high-concept psychological thriller about a young couple living in an idyllic, cult-like community with Florence Pugh and Chris Pine, are thought to be the film’s biggest asset in terms of its box office performance, according to analysts.

The most talked-about film at the Venice Film Festival was Don’t Worry Darling because of the numerous problems surrounding it, including claims that Wilde and Pugh were at odds.

Insiders in Hollywood aren’t sure that the average moviegoer is interested in the off-screen drama. The publicity might even have made people more conscious.
Weak reviews are greater cause for concern. Don’t Stress Darling now has a 35 percent critics’ approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which hurts its prospects of winning any prizes and makes it harder to draw older individuals who are known for reading reviews before going to the movies.

Don’t Stress Darling should easily win the weekend ahead of the highly regarded The Woman King, which might bring in up to $11 million in its second weekend, a slight drop from its first weekend.

The re-release of Avatar, the highest-grossing movie of all time, is another one to keep an eye on. The sequel to Avatar: The Way of Water, which will be released in December, is currently being prepared by director James Cameron and his producing partner Jon Landau. Bringing the first film back to theatres is just one part of a massive marketing campaign being run by Disney and 20th Century.

This weekend, Avatar should bring in $7 million to $10 million.

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