Despite all the scandals during the promotion, Olivia Wilde no longer has to worry after her movie Don’t Worry Darling scored at the box office debut $19.2 million in the opening weekend in 4,113 North American theaters. At the international box office, the movie achieved another $10.8 million, making it $30 million in total. Don’t Worry Darling premiered on September 23rd reaching $9 million on the first day. The critics reassure it is a great start for a $35 million budget movie.
The psychological thriller set in the 50’s directed by Olivia Wilde, tells the story of Alice Chambers (Florence Pugh) and Jack Chambers (Harry Styles) who live in the idealized community of Victory. Men from the town work at a top-secret project and when they are away from their idyllic houses, their wives get to enjoy a life full of luxury and beauty. The community seems like paradise, but as the movie progresses, the perfect world Alice lives in starts showing her fissures and the main character starts to believe something is wrong.
The movie distributed by Warner Bros. was filled with critics and not exactly positive ones. Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie 38% out of 100% and an average of 77% score by the audience. “True, it’s a fabulous looking film but an annoyingly hollow one, and not everyone comes out of it with their dignity intact” said Chris Wasser from the Sunday Independent (Ireland). IMDb gave Don’t Worry Darling 6.3 out of 10 and 6.1 from 10 by FilmAffinity. Even with non favorable reviews, its controversies and a drama between Olivia Wilde and Florence Pugh, convinced the public to watch the movie. Besides, having Harry Styles as the leading man (who is the most popular pop male artist at the moment) boosted ticket sales.
One of the dramas during the making of the movie was the departure of Shia LaBeouf who was initially going to play the role of Jack Chambers. Wilde alleged that she fired LaBeouf, however, the actor filtered some messages between him and Olivia where she regretted Shia’s departure. Shia LaBeouf also leaked a video recorded by the director where she talks about some possible tension on set between LaBeouf and Pugh. Also, the actor revealed the reasons he left the project saying he and the actors did not have enough time to rehearse. During the filming in 2021 and Shia LaBeouf’s departure, the director hired Harry Styles to play Jack. Meanwhile, Olivia Wilde went through a divorce and a few weeks later, she was seen dating Styles.
In the spring of 2022, Florence Pugh was distant from the project as she did not promote it through social media. Pugh shared other future projects like Crhistopher Nolan’s upcoming film “Oppenheimer” through social media, and never mentioned Don’t Worry Darling until August 11th. Florence was not part of the promotion of Don’t Worry Darling. The movie premiered at the Venice Film Festival while the drama between Wilde and Pugh was still alive. The protagonist skipped the press conference, even though she looked stunning on the red carpet.
According to the critics, it may not be the best movie of 2022, yet the audience enjoyed the film due to its great cast including Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, Olivia Wilde and Chris Pine. Still, what the public will remember about this movie is not the plot or Pugh’s playing the role of Alice Chambers, what they will actually remember is all the drama during the making of the film, and the controversies between Olivia, Florence and Shia.