“Don’t Worry Darling” did not disappoint at the box office, darling. Olivia Wilde’s sophomore release earned $19.2 million domestically, nabbing the top spot across theatrical releases nationwide.
The psychological thriller, which stars Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, Gemma Chan, Chris Pine and Nick Kroll, also scored almost $11 million in the international market for a $30 million global opening weekend.
Released through Warner Bros. across 4,113 theaters, the two-hour drama follows a 1950s housewife living in an experimental idealistic community with her husband, only to find disturbing secrets are truly behind what was believed to be a new, perfect lifestyle.
Wilde’s second directorial work reportedly cost upwards of $35 million to make, and wasn’t without a myriad of drama behind scenes which began with the alleged firing of Shia LaBeouf as the lead character in August 2020, followed by Harry Styles signing on to the take the role.
Wilde and her longtime fiance, Jason Sudeikis, ended their seven-year engagement in November 2020, and she was then pictured hand in hand with Styles before he officiated his manager’s wedding in January 2021.
An estimated $9.5 million was earned on Friday’s release date, with another $5.8 million on Saturday and nearly $4 million pulled on Sunday for the film to keep the top spot all weekend, according to Box Office Mojo.
“The Woman King,” which was released Sept. 16, nabbed second place with $11 million, and a re-release of James Cameron’s “Avatar” ranked third with $10 million in totals.
On Friday, Olivia shared a behind-the-scenes snap while reading scripts on set with Pugh, Styles and screenwriter Katie Silberman.
“Don’t Worry Darling is officially open,” Wilde captioned the candid shot. “Aaahhhhhhhh!!!!!!! I’m so deeply grateful for this experience, and for the extraordinary effort of the group of artists who made it happen. We got together to tell a story for you, and we hope you have fun with it.”
Florence Pugh, who stars as Alice Chambers in DWD, completely stepped away from promotional responsibilities in Italy before the Venice Film Festival premiere, and remained completely quiet when it came to talking about the movie on social media up until the film was released.
During the Venice Film Fest, fans also thought they saw Styles spit on Chris Pine during a screening after a particularly tense red carpet where Harry and Olivia were kept separate, and Florence never connected with Olivia.
“This is a ridiculous story…a complete fabrication and the result of an odd online illusion that is clearly deceiving and allows for foolish speculation,” Pine’s representative told Fox News Digital. “Just to be clear, Harry Styles did not spit on Chris Pine.”
It’s unclear why Pugh opted not to discuss her role in the movie, but Wilde recently discussed a major controversy in having to fire Shia LaBeouf, who was initially cast as Jack.
“His process was not conducive to the ethos that I demand in my productions,” she told Variety of LaBeouf. “He has a process that, in some ways, seems to require a combative energy, and I don’t personally believe that is conducive to the best performances.
“I believe that creating a safe, trusting environment is the best way to get people to do their best work. Ultimately, my responsibility is to the production and to the cast to protect them. That was my job.”
LaBeouf reportedly had scheduling conflicts, but a December 2020 lawsuit filed by his ex-girlfriend, FKA Twigs, reported physical, mental and emotional abuse. The suit is ongoing and set for an April 2023 trial.
“A lot came to light after this happened that really troubled me, in terms of his behavior… Particularly with a movie like this, I knew that I was going to be asking Florence to be in very vulnerable situations, and my priority was making her feel safe and making her feel supported,” Wilde said.
LaBeouf recently addressed claims he was fired from “Don’t Worry Darling” in an open-letter to director Wilde, and admitted he was now 627 days sober. FKA Twigs’ lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles on Dec. 11, 2020, three days after he began his sobriety journey.
“I have a little girl, Isabel; she is five months old and just beginning to develop the last half of her laugh; it’s AMAZING. Mia, my wife & I have found each other again & are journeying toward a healthy family with love and mutual respect,” he wrote.
“My failings with Twigs are fundamental and real, but they are not the narrative that has been presented. There is a time and a place to deal with such things, and I am trying to navigate a nuanced situation with respect for her and the truth, hence my silence. But this situation with your film and my ‘firing’ will never have a court date with which to deal with the facts. If lies are repeated enough in the public they become truth. And so, it makes it that much harder for me to crawl out of the hole I have dug with my behaviors, to be able to provide for my family.”
He added: “Firing me never took place, Olivia. And while I fully understand the attractiveness of pushing that story because of the current social landscape, the social currency that brings. It is not the truth. So I am humbly asking, as a person with an eye toward making things right, that you correct the narrative as best you can. I hope none of this negatively effects you, and that your film is successful in all the ways you want it to be.”