A difference of opinion has arisen about The Woman King‘s immediate prospects.

On one hand you’ve got Showbiz411‘s Roger Friedman all but calling Gina Prince-Bythewood‘s historical action drama dead in the water, and on the other ForbesScott Mendelson is goingwooh-wooh!!The Woman King had a nice promising Thursday night and will probably do decently if not better by Sunday night….break out the champagne!”

Friedman: “The much touted Gina Prince-Blythewood film took in just $1.7 million last night at 3,271 theaters. That’s just $520 per screenouch! You could tell from the seat maps at major AMC theaters across the country that there was no enthusiasm for the much praised Viola Davis action film. Sony simply failed to make it exciting in any way.

“Now comes the actual weekend, so word of mouth should be good enough to lift the numbers. But if Sony had any Oscar expectations other than Viola for Best Actress they’d better turn on the charm fast.”

Mendelson: “In what could hopefully be an end to the post-Bullet Train slump at the domestic box office, Sony’s The Woman King earned a promising $1.7 million in Thursday previews. The showings began as early as 3:00 pm and suggest that the $50 million action drama would make anywhere from $13.5 million to $22.5 million over its domestic debut. Splitting the difference would be around $17 million, a debut on par with Sony’s female-targeted Where the Crawdads Sing from back in July.”