Movies & TV / News

411 Box Office Report: Joker Clips Maleficent: Mistress of Evil To Regain #1 Spot

October 27, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Joker Joaquin Phoenix

It’s a photo finish at the box office this weekend, but it appears that Joker has edged out Maleficent: Mistress of Evil to reign once again. The DC Comics-inspired thriller brought in $18.9 million to claim #1 again after ceding the top spot to Mistress of Evil last week. That was down just 35% from last week’s total, another good hold for the Joaquin Phoenix-starring movie. Joker now has $277.6 million domestically and $849.1 million worldwide on a budget of just $55 million, making it a beyond-massive hit for the studio. It is right on par for over $300 million domestically and over $900 million worldwide.

Maleficent, meanwhile, is right on Joker’s heels with $18.5 million. That’s down 50%, a number that would be fine if it had opened higher last weekend but is slightly high instead. The drop is roughly equal to the first film’s 51% drop, but remember that the first film started at $69.4 million as opposed to the second’s $36.9 million. Mistress of Evil now has $65.4 million domestically and $293.5 million worldwide from a budget of $170 million. It has a ways to go to get to the $400 million-plus it needs worldwide to avoid losing money, but it should be able to get there. The domestic take is on track for $110 million or so.

Joining Joker among the great holdovers was The Addams Family, which is proving to have strong legs with a drop of just 28% in its third week to $11.7 million. The film is taking advantage of a relatively thin time at the box office for animated films and now has $72.8 million domestically and $84 million worldwide, good numbers against a $40 million budget. The film should make it to around $95 million or so domestically and will be a profitable venture for MGM.

Zombieland: Double Tap, meanwhile, fell off a bit in its second weekend. The zombie comedy followed up its good start last weekend with a 57% drop to $11.6 million. That’s not the worst fall in the world, but it’s much higher than the 40% for the first Zombieland. Double Tap now stands at $47 million domestically and $63.6 million worldwide. It shouldn’t have much problem getting to profit against $42 million production budget plus P&A, with the overseas grosses providing the difference maker as is often the cast. Its final domestic gross is looking to be around $70 million to $75 million.

Coming in at #5 was Countdown, which performed on the high end of expectations with $9 million. The tech-based horror film about a mobile app which predicts the time of your death was pegged for the mid-single digits, so it’s doing what it needs to. It notably outperformed the opening weekend for the other evil app movie out there, the comedy Jexi ($3.1 million).

Like many horror films, Countdown was a low-risk, decent return plan for STX Films. The moview wasn’t strongly marketed until the last month or so; the first trailer didn’t even appear until Hustlers in September. However, there was a drive to get people to see it after that which helped. Reviews were the opposite of strong at just 26%, but teens don’t stress about horror films’ critical buzz and that’s who this was targeted at. Word of mouth is average for a horror film with a C+ CinemaScore.

Ultimately, all this means that the film should come in okay, if not a hit. The movie cost $6 million to make and had an estimated $15 million spent in marketing. Domestically this will be helped slightly by Halloween this coming week but should fade away with average speed, so the final domestic number will be around $25 million to $30 million. Overseas numbers will get it to profit in the end, though it’s not a big profit.

Meanwhile, Black and Blue ended up (excuse the pun) a little bit bruised in its opening weekend. The action-thriller opened to $8.3 million, a little below the $10 million most were predicting for it. On the surface, this isn’t horrible news. However, when you consider that the film was more expensive than Countdown at $12 million plus a somewhat heftier marketing budget, it doesn’t bode well for the Naomie Harris-led flick’s ultimate profit margin.

When it all comes down to it, Black and Blue just wasn’t a film people were dying to see. The lukewarm 47% RT consensus didn’t help matters much, though word of mouth is decent with an 80% positive score from PostTrak. The movie’s final domestic take looks to be somewhere around $25 million to $30 million, which won’t be enough for a profit unless some unlikely international success is found.

Gemini Man continued to fade away, down 50% in its third weekend to $4 million. The sci-fi Will Smith action vehicle now has $43.3 million domestically and while it’s scoring more overseas with $125.5 million worlwide, that’s nowhere close to making back its $150 million budget. It should find a domestic total will around $60 million, and will lose Paramount a hefty sum.

The Lighthouse raised its theater count and jumped into the top ten with a strong showing. The black and white drama expanded to 586 theaters and nailed down $3.1 million. That’s a good start for A24’s film, which is riding a wave of stellar reviews at 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. The film’s ultimate prospects are hard to predict, as it depends on how A24 handles the platforming up, but $10 million to even $15 million seems quite possible, with more if the film really catches on during award season. No word on its budget.

Opening at #9 was the director’s cut of The Current War, bringing in $2.7 million. The Weinstein Company’s Edison/Tesla drama survived a very bumpy road to the big screen, as it was sidelined by the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault drama and was nearly never released. The initial cut of the film was also extremely unliked by critics with 34%. It was only after the Lantern Entertainment, who bought TWC’s assets in bankruptcy court, struck a deal to re-edit it with director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and release it that it had a chance at all.

Even this re-edited version isn’t lighting anything afire; critics liked it better but still not a lot at 57% on RT. The film is never going to make back its $30 million budget, but at this point it’s not intended to. Lantern and domestic distributor 101 Studios are trying to get some money out of it. It should end its run in the high single digits.

Finally, Abominable closed out the top ten with $2 million, down 43% in its fifth week. The animated film now has $56.8 million domestically and $144.6 million worldwide. Domestically it looks like a likely $62 million finish and a close call on breaking even against a $75 million budget.

Next weekend sees a host of new releases with Terminator: Dark Fate expected to lead the way at a $40 million start or so. Also opening are Harriet, Arctic Dogs and Motherless Brooklyn, which should all be in the mid-to-high single digits.

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Domestic Numbers)
1. Joker – $18.9 million ($277.6 million total)
2. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil – $18.5 million ($65.4 million total)
3. The Addams Family – $11.7 million ($72.8 million total)
4. Zombieland: Double Tap – $11.6 million ($47 million total)
5. Countdown – $9 million ($9 million total)
6. Black and Blue – $8.3 million ($8.3 million total)
7. Gemini Man – $4 million ($43.3 million total)
8. The Lighthouse – $3.1 million ($3.1 million total)
9. The Current War (Director’s Cut) – $2.7 million ($2.7 million total)
10. Abominable – $2 million ($56.8 million total)