Don’t Worry Darling: Box-Office Hit, Depite (or Because of) Various Controversies

DON'T WORRY DARLING, from left: Florence
©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett C
It’s been a rocky road to the release of Don’t Worry Darling–canceled late-night appearances, production rivalries, frame-by-frame analysis of red-carpet body language and so on.
But at the end of the journey, Olivia Wilde’s psychological thriller is a commercial hit.

“Don’t Worry Darling” should have no trouble topping the domestic box office, projecting a $21 million debut from 4,113 theaters. The film earned $9.4 million from opening day and Thursday previews — a more-than-solid figure for an original film that carries a modest $35 million production budget.

With a star-studded cast, topped by Oscar nominee Florence Pugh and pop superstar Harry Styles, the film has stirred up enough excitement to convince fans to see how its mystery all plays out on the big screen.

The audience is skewing heavily towards women, who composed 66% of opening day crowds.

Audiences weren’t deterred by largely unimpressed reviews. The film carries a rather dismal 21% approval rating from top critics on review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes.

The coming days will see if that opening audience sticks. “Don’t Worry Darling” has landed a “B-” grade through research firm Cinema Score, indicating a largely apathetic response from general moviegoers. It’s not impossible that the swirl of rumors around “Don’t Worry Darling” cultivated an event status around the film, which could ultimately lead to a more front-loaded box office performance.

“Don’t Worry Darling” stars Pugh and Styles as a happily married couple in the experimental desert community of Victory, Calif. But the shimmering routine of Nuclear Age-living is not completely as it seems, with a Svengali-like cult leader (Chris Pine) holding court over the tiny town. The film also stars Wilde, Gemma Chan, KiKi Layne, Nick Kroll and Kate Berlant.