After what seems like months of eye-catching headlines and a towering rumor mill of behind-the-scenes drama, Olivia Wilde’s “Don’t Worry Darling” has landed in theaters, earning $3.1 million at the domestic box office from Thursday previews.
The Warner Bros. film is estimated to earn between $17 million to $20 million in its opening weekend, with some projections as high as $25 million. With a price tag of $35 million to produce, a result anywhere in that range would mark a solid start for the film.
“Don’t Worry Darling” is Wilde’s second directorial effort, after her 2019 debut “Booksmart,” which was critically adored, but underperformed at the box office. The R-rated comedy had a soft opening of just $8.7 million over the four-day Memorial Day weekend. “Don’t Worry Darling,” a twisty psychological thriller with a starry cast including Harry Styles, Florence Pugh and Chris Pine, will surely eclipse that box office mark.
Super fans of Styles’ singing alone should propel box office receipts as they rush to theaters to check out his first major film role. After appearing in Christopher Nolan’s 2017 war film “Dunkirk” and having a brief cameo in Marvel’s “Eternals” last year, this year will put the spotlight on Styles’ acting chops with “Don’t Worry Darling” and Amazon Prime Video’s gay romance “My Policeman.”
The movie may have a buzzy cast and be Wilde’s sophomore feature, but many people have been following “Don’t Worry Darling” for its off-screen controversies. First, there was Wilde getting served custody papers in the middle of her CinemaCon presentation, back-and-forth accusations about whether Wilde fired former lead Shia LaBeouf or he quit, and who can forget Spit-Gate, when it appeared that Styles spit on Pine during the Venice Film Festival screening. There has also been intense public scrutiny over Wilde and Styles’ romantic relationship, and rumors of tension between Wilde and Pugh, who skipped doing press at Venice. If the off-screen storylines surrounding “Don’t Worry Darling” gets people into theaters, the film should have nothing to worry about at the box office.