Olivia Wilde’s sophomore directorial feature, “Don’t Worry Darling,” has been a lightning rod of controversy over the past several months. The discussion has been directed at just about everything, save for the actual film.
Despite that, the film still had a strong performance at the weekend box office. Box Office Mojo reports that the film brought in an estimated $19.2 million for its first-weekend opening, putting it off to a strong start.
‘Don’t Worry Darling’ Opens Strong Despite Overwhelming Controversy
“Don’t Worry Darling” marks Olivia Wilde’s second movie after 2019’s critically acclaimed “Booksmart.” While “Booksmart” did well with critics, it underperformed at the box office, bringing in only $22.6 million domestically.
It appears things were flipped for Wilde’s latest feature. “Don’t Worry Darling” was not well-liked by critics, as it currently sits at 38% on Rotten Tomatoes. However, the film is off to a strong start now with the current box office estimates.
While $19.2 million is not a huge box office opening weekend by today’s standards, especially compared most tentpole blockbusters, it’s good for a film like “Don’t Worry Darling,” which Box Office Mojo reports has a modest budget of $35 million.
Additionally, the film brought in another $10.8 million overseas to bring its current worldwide box office take to about $30 million.
The Controversy Surrounding The Film
There have been many rumors and strange occurrences surrounding the film. Back at CinemaCon 2022 in April, Wilde was served with legal custody papers from ex-partner, Jason Sudeikis, when she was previewing the film during the Warner Bros. presentation.
There were also rumors of real-life drama between Wilde and star Florence Pugh, who apparently didn’t get along onset. There is also the talk of the real-life relationship between costar Harry Styles and Wilde, which is rumored to have burgeoned onset.
Speaking to Vanity Fair, Wilde explained that the idea that she had an affair with Styles while working on the movie was utter nonsense. According to Wilde, her and Sudeikis’ relationship “was over long before” she met Styles.
There is also the drama regarding the initial casting of Shia LaBeouf for the film in the role that would later go to Styles. Wilde stated that she let LaBeouf go from the film. However, LaBeouf denied the claim, saying he actually quit the project, expressing disapproval over not having adequate time to rehearse for the film.
Then there was that bizarre incident of the alleged spitting at the Venice Film Festival premiere. In a clip that became a viral sensation, Styles goes to sit down next to costar Chris Pine. While the footage is not conclusive that Styles spit on Pine, it was an awkward interaction nonetheless.
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Regardless, the film managed to overcome the controversy that was surrounding it, long with negative reviews, and managed to find an audience this weekend, which should likely be good news for Wilde and Warner Bros.
“Don’t Worry Darling” stars Pugh, Styles, Pine, Gemma Chan, KiKi Layne, and Nick Kroll. The film is playing now in theaters. Wilde directed the film from a script by Katie Silberman. She also has a supporting role.