Don’t Worry Darling, Olivia Wilde’s much-anticipated suburban thriller starring Florence Pugh and Harry Styles, has opened strongly in the UK despite – or perhaps thanks to – the considerable iffy publicity surrounding the film.
Wilde’s film became the UK and Ireland’s widest-ever opener by a female director, debuting in 694 locations on its first weekend of release. It will shortly expand to 783 screens.
It was narrowly beaten to the No 1 spot in the weekend charts by romcom Ticket to Paradise, whose release was pushed back a week because of the Queen’s funeral. The Julia Roberts and George Clooney film made £2.8m, while Wilde’s movie managed £2.77m.
Wilde’s first film as director, Booksmart, was a sleeper success in the UK, but still only managed £1.5m total in its 2019 run.
In July, Olivia Newman’s Where the Crawdads Sing opened in 691 UK and Ireland locations. Other major movies from female directors – such as Chloé Zhao’s Eternals – had their exhibition ambitions curtailed by Covid.
Cate Shortland’s Black Widow, meanwhile, was exclusively released on streaming platform Disney+.
Don’t Worry Darling has attracted mixed reviews for its blend of satire, sci-fi and feminist critique, while publicity has focused on reported backstage wrangles between some of the cast and director.