Weekend Box Office

Weekend Box Office Results: Joker Becomes Biggest R-Rated Film Ever

The Joaquin Phoenix film gets more reason to smile with $18.9 million haul while The Lighthouse shines bright in the top 10 on the weekend of October 25-27.

by | October 27, 2019 | Comments

Audiences were not done with the winners of the box office last week – including Joker and Maleficent – though they certainly did flip the script on a few of them. The DC villain overtook the Disney villain to reclaim his weekly crown, while Joker also celebrates an all-new crown as the highest-grossing R-rated film of all-time. The final weekend of October was certainly calm for the newcomers but the storm is coming soon as the Holiday movie season kicks off in earnest next week. Until then, the winners and losers of the Autumn season look pretty clear.


King of the Crop: Joker Sets October And R-Rated Record

Niko Tavernise/© 2019 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
(Photo by © Warner Bros. )

Joker is the King in more ways than one. It is the first movie to regain the number 1 spot at the box office after being dethroned since A Quiet Place did it in April 2018. With over $277 million on Sunday, it surpasses Gravity to become the highest-grossing film ever released in October and, as mentioned, it has also passed Deadpool 2 as the top R-rated grosser worldwide with over $790 million. The $18.7 million that Joker made in weekend four is higher than both Thor: Ragnarok ($16.86 million) and Iron Man 2 ($16.45 million), as well as Deadpool 2 ($14.41 million). That suggests Joker is headed for somewhere over $320 million domestic and on its way to over $900 million worldwide. Joker is going to have the biggest profit of the Autumn season by over three times more than Warner Brothers’ other big hit of the season, It: Chapter Two. Other winners include Focus Features’ Downton Abbey and STX’s Hustlers.


Rotten Returns: Maleficent Sequel Trailing Well Behind Original, But Some Signs of Hope

Angelina Jolie is Maleficent in Disney’s MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL. (Walt Disney Pictures)
(Photo by © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is in the running for an altogether different crown at the other end of the spectrum: that of one of the biggest bombs of the year. The international dollar is going to ultimately decide its final placement, but as of this weekend it has grossed just $65 million domestically and is in danger of not even crossing the $100 million line. (Its predecessor cleared $240 million.) The sequel is just a bit behind the 10-day grosses of Paranormal Activity 2 and Red Dragon, though it did gross a little more in weekend two than either of them. Those films, nevertheless, finished with only $84.75 million and $93.14 million, respectively.

Good news for the Mistress of Evil is that family films are in short supply until Frozen 2 opens on November 22; neither Arctic Dogs nor Playing with Fire is likely to draw much business away from it. But even if Maleficent can reach nine digits here, it is still going to need to reach about $450 million internationally to break even. Currently it has made $228 million outside of its North American total. Still, Mistress of Evil looks like its red in the ledger will still be less than that of Paramount’s Gemini Man, which remains about $260 million away from the black. That would make it the clear loser in an Autumn season in which it has had plenty of company, including The Goldfinch, Ad Astra, and Rambo: Last Blood.


The Top 10 And Beyond: Newcomers Make a Dull Impact as The Lighthouse Shines

Countdown
(Photo by © STX Entertainment)

Neither of this weekend’s new releases posted noteworthy grosses, but neither were heavily budgeted either. Sony’s Black and Blue was the more expensive of the two, costing $12 million, so an $8.3 million start means it is likely headed at best for $20-$25 million total, if that. The horror film Countdown cost about half as much at $6.5 million and at least passed that figure with $9 million. It is also likely to take a small loss if it is forgotten by audiences once Halloween comes and goes.

Two films still looking to get out of the red for the Autumn season remained in the top four and could see a decent showing leading up to Halloween next Thursday. Last week’s newcomer Zombieland: Double Tap is now up to nearly $47 million. The original film had $47.6 million after 10 days and grossed $14.8 million in its second weekend; the sequel dropped 57% and grossed just $11.6 million, so it appears it is headed to somewhere below the first film’s $75.59 million. The Addams Family is also having a nice little run and looks headed for over $90 million with an outside shot at reaching $100 million which, globally, is the number it needs to start turning a profit. Its total stands worldwide at $84 million.

In other direct battles this weekend, we had one between musicians Kanye West and Bruce Springsteen. Kanye’s 31-minute short, Jesus Is King, grossed $830,000 in 372 IMAX theaters, which charge a bit extra no matter what the length, for a per-theater-average of $2,231. The Boss’ full-length music doc, Western Stars, was in 345 non-IMAX theaters and grossed just $560,000 for a $1,623 PTA. Then there was the battle between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse in The Current War, labeled with “Director’s Cut” after the film spent two years on the shelf after premiering at the Toronto Film Festival in 2017 to mediocre reviews in the midst of the Harvey Weinstein scandal. It made just $2.73 million.

And that wasn’t all. There was also the showdown between Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe in The Lighthouse. Robert Eggers’ follow-up to The Witch expanded to 586 theaters and made the top 10 with a gross of $3.08 million. That is a better per-theater-average ($5,257) than the expansion of Sofia Coppola’s remake of The Beguiled in 2017, which started with $229,229 in four theaters and then grossed $3.16 million in 674 theaters. That film jumped up to its widest release the following week into 941 theaters and ultimately finished with $10.7 million. A24’s very first opening weekend wide launch was The Witch, which grossed $8.8 million in 2,046 theaters and finished with $25.13 million.

In other limited news, Bong Joon-Ho’s Parasite (Certified Fresh at 99%) continued to stay strong as it expanded into 129 theaters with $1.81 million. Comparing to similar platforming strategies, it is certainly in some great company. Boogie Nights went from 30-to-124 theaters in weekend three and grossed $1.8 million. Here are others in Parasite’s realm:

  • There Will Be Blood (51-to-129 screens): $1.86 million
  • Boyhood (34-to-107 screens): $1.76 million
  • Thank You For Smoking (54-to-126 screens): $1.60 million
  • The Farewell (35-to-135 screens): $1.51 million
  • The Theory of Everything (44-to-140 screens): $1.51 million
  • An Inconvenient Truth (77-to-122 screens): $1.5 million
  • Revolutionary Road (38-to-135 screens): $1.42 million
  • Into the Wild (33-to-135 screens): $1.27 million

The lowest-grossing film on that list overall was The Farewell with $17.67 million.

Finally, we’re looking at the second weekend of Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit, which added another 50 theaters to last week’s launch of just five and grossed $1.04 million. That is right in line with Jason Reitman’s Thank You For Smoking, which Fox Searchlight saw gross $1,003,911 in 54 theaters after a $262,923 launch in five theaters. Other Fox Searchlight releases along these lines include Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, which made $1,102,166 in 53 theaters after a $322,168 start in four theaters, and Birdman, which made $1.37 million (50 theaters) after $424,397 (four theaters). Jojo Rabbit is up to $1.5 million after 10 days of release.


This Time Last Year: Halloween Wins Halloween Weekend

The pre-Halloween weekend in 2018 was won by (what else?) David Gordon Green’s Halloween, which earned $31.4 million in its second weekend, crossing the $125 million line. A Star is Born was second with $14.03 million and Venom finished third with $10.65 million. The only newcomer to enter the top 10 was the Gerard Butler submarine thriller, Hunter Killer, which opened to just $6.65 million. Johnny English Strikes Again and the faith-based Indivisible opened in less than 1,000 theaters and grossed just $1.63 million and $1.50 million, respectively; Jonah Hill’s mid90s was expanded into 1,206 theaters and held the number 10 spot with $2.98 million. The top 10 films grossed a total of $90.99 million and averaged an even 65% on the Tomatometer; this year’s top 10 grossed $89.88 million and averaged 55%.


On the Vine: He Said He’d Be Back

The holiday movie season officially begins and one film should have no problem ruling them all: Terminator: Dark Fate is primed to lead the way with both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton returning to the franchise. The movie is already earning solid reviews, particularly when compared to the previous sequels; its current Tomatometer score is 65%. Dark Fate started with $12.8 million overseas in 10 territories this weekend. The holiday season also means it is awards season and a couple of Oscar wannabes begin their runs next week: Edward Norton’s Motherless Brooklyn and Harriet with Cynthia Erivo as Harriet Tubman. Finally there is Entertainment Studios’ first animated release, Arctic Dogs, featuring the voice work of Jeremy Renner, James Franco, and Alec Baldwin, which is expected to be on the low end of animated openings.


The Full Top 10: October 25-27

  1. Joker (2019) 69% – $18.9 million ($277.58 million total)
  2. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019) 40% – $18.54 million ($65.41 million total)
  3. The Addams Family (2019) 44% – $11.71 million ($72.8 million total)
  4. Zombieland: Double Tap (2019) 68% – $11.6 million ($47 million total)
  5. Countdown (2019) 26% – $9.01 million ($9.01 million total)
  6. Black and Blue (2019) 52% – $8.33 million ($8.33 million total)
  7. Gemini Man (2019) 26% – $4 million ($43.34 million total)
  8. The Lighthouse (2019) 91% – $3.08 million ($3.66 million total)
  9. The Current War: Director's Cut (2019) 61% – $2.73 million ($2.73 million total)
  10. Abominable (2019) 81% – $2 million ($56.82 million total)

Erik Childress can be heard each week evaluating box office on WGN Radio with Nick Digilio as well as on Business First AM with Angela Miles and his Movie Madness Podcast.

[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]


Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

Tag Cloud

Food Network revenge screenings TCM sequel cancelled TV shows Nat Geo Countdown Paramount Network TNT festivals Animation ghosts The Arrangement stand-up comedy Cartoon Network E! cars Valentine's Day Comics on TV DGA toy story Disney Channel sitcom Photos Hallmark Christmas movies RT21 Sci-Fi Freeform streaming Spectrum Originals Horror spain Discovery Channel 45 Universal disaster The Witch OneApp harry potter Musicals Rom-Com The CW teaser A24 Superheroes Starz crime drama Comedy Thanksgiving Pixar Fox News Reality witnail kids Academy Awards docudrama Creative Arts Emmys Lifetime Pirates war Emmy Nominations tv talk Paramount Character Guide Toys theme song thriller travel movies 2020 Marvel IFC Films Pop sag awards Showtime Marvel Studios FOX DC Comics Elton John Ellie Kemper psycho 2017 Super Bowl Biopics Black Mirror WarnerMedia 2015 Superheroe blaxploitation Spring TV Disney technology casting SDCC IFC cartoon Chernobyl 2019 boxoffice 71st Emmy Awards GIFs TV Land canceled Action See It Skip It GoT 2018 Marathons independent PaleyFest National Geographic Teen cats LGBT Marvel Television Awards Tour Interview Pet Sematary Awards President renewed TV shows Tumblr Polls and Games Country Film Festival Television Academy MSNBC miniseries Mary Poppins Returns dc TCA Turner Classic Movies free movies Turner Avengers doctor who Arrowverse First Look TCA Winter 2020 GLAAD cinemax vampires Mystery Winners Vudu slashers TBS Sneak Peek RT History Crackle Musical halloween 007 children's TV spy thriller DirecTV VH1 BET cancelled television DC Universe mutant game show Warner Bros. Lionsgate Grammys hist Netflix Quiz Writers Guild of America Film X-Men composers History Trivia Premiere Dates singing competition PBS Year in Review Logo Christmas medical drama Esquire biography Mudbound Britbox south america Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Brie Larson Mindy Kaling anime Video Games YouTube Red versus CMT Adult Swim The Purge golden globes MTV Ghostbusters Song of Ice and Fire quibi anthology American Society of Cinematographers ESPN Sundance strong female leads dceu Disney Plus Election The Walking Dead science fiction cooking Sundance Now Extras Walt Disney Pictures Nominations Women's History Month crime talk show TV USA Network Tomatazos sports zombies joker mockumentary Box Office historical drama cults natural history Podcast police drama Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Mary Tyler Moore Lucasfilm Winter TV Peacock serial killer Emmys Infographic NBC TV renewals comiccon latino comics Disney streaming service Fall TV Certified Fresh zero dark thirty crime thriller APB Comic Book DC streaming service E3 WGN FX TCA 2017 Comedy Central Oscars CBS All Access NYCC finale Amazon Bravo unscripted period drama CBS rotten movies we love binge Endgame Nickelodeon Schedule aliens series Opinion Classic Film reboot Stephen King Calendar Music hispanic space Apple 20th Century Fox romantic comedy HBO Disney+ Disney Plus San Diego Comic-Con Heroines 21st Century Fox Fantasy 24 frames OWN Pride Month Cosplay Binge Guide name the review Amazon Prime Video TIFF Watching Series blockbuster social media TruTV animated YA comic indie Sundance TV award winner foreign adaptation Red Carpet BBC America Shondaland diversity ABC psychological thriller christmas movies ABC Family Lifetime Christmas movies TLC political drama YouTube spanish language VICE ITV spider-man New York Comic Con CNN Dark Horse Comics politics Reality Competition jamie lee curtis BBC Apple TV Plus justice league Trophy Talk El Rey Holidays Kids & Family Tubi game of thrones supernatural Star Wars 2016 true crime Epix HBO Max zombie SundanceTV Spike robots cancelled TV series what to watch Amazon Prime Star Trek romance screen actors guild Hulu dragons Columbia Pictures Drama ratings Hallmark AMC richard e. Grant Western Tarantino CW Seed adventure USA LGBTQ SXSW book cops breaking bad elevated horror green book First Reviews Mary poppins cancelled Martial Arts Rocketman Trailer crossover Shudder A&E MCU spinoff Best and Worst Cannes facebook Netflix Christmas movies Captain marvel Apple TV+ television Ovation Masterpiece nature YouTube Premium Acorn TV based on movie werewolf Holiday transformers batman discovery Sony Pictures Set visit Summer Family Rocky Rock Anna Paquin canceled TV shows Crunchyroll dramedy FXX video Baby Yoda Syfy directors