Weekend Box Office

Weekend Box Office Results: Joker's Wild as $93M Debut Breaks Venom October Record

Arthur Fleck says: "Hey! What a wonderful kind of day!" as he laughs all the way to the bank the weekend of October 4-6.

by | October 6, 2019 | Comments

There is no surprise just how well Todd Phillips’ Batman villain spinoff, Joker, did at the box office. Ticket buyers showed up in anticipation and curiosity on what the director of The Hangover trilogy would bring to the iconic villain, last portrayed by Jared Leto in Suicide Squad. Of course, it was Heath Ledger’s take that won the Oscar in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. Is Joaquin Phoenix in the running for one as well?


King of the Crop: Joker Puts A Smile On 

(Photo by Niko Tavernise / © Warner Bros. / courtesy Everett Collection)

Joker can already claim a few October victories: Its $39 million Friday beat the record set by 2018’s Halloween, which started with $33 million. Then Joker bested the all-time October weekend record ($93.50 million) set also last year by Venom ($80.25 million), along with Venom‘s Thursday previews top standing ($10 million) by grossing $13.3 million.

Joker is the 77th film to open to $90 million or higher. Not one of them failed to reach at least $200 million and only 11 failed to reach $250 million, including It: Chapter Two which is not going to make it. Believe it or not, of the 206 films to gross over $200 million, only 17 have been rated R — a list that includes two Deadpools, two Its and a pair of Hangovers, directed by Joker‘s Todd Phillips.  


Fresh Surprise: War, What Is It Good For? Well…

(Photo by Yash Raj Films / courtesy Everett Collection)

Two Asian films did very well in limited release. Siddharth Anand’s War grossed $1.58 million in just 305 theaters, good enough to finish in the Top Ten. Then My People, My Country came really close, finishing 11th with $865,000 in just 70 theaters for the third highest per-theater-average in the Top Ten behind Joker and Pedro Almodovar’s Pain and Glory which grossed $160,087 in four theaters. Compare those numbers to another notable limited release this week…


Rotten Returns: Lucy in the Sky Gets No Piece of the Pie

(Photo by Fox Searchlight Pictures. All rights reserved. / courtesy Everett Collection)

Not doing well at all in limited release is Fox Searchlight’s Lucy in the Sky, which earned $55,000 in 37 theaters this weekend.  Lucy’s $1,486 per theater average is bad enough to make Fox Searchlight’s worst ten PTAs of all-time. Currently 10th (out of the nearly 190 films in their history) if the estimates don’t get worse, it’s a list that includes the likes of this year’s Tolkien; Lucia, Lucia; Miss March; Whiteboyz; Jean-Marc Vallee’s Demolition; Richard Linklater’s Fast Food Nation; The Art of Getting By; Wilson; and Alex Proyas’ Garage Days


The Top Ten and Beyond: AbominableAd AstraRambo: Last Blood Struggling

Universal Pictures
(Photo by Universal Pictures)

Last week’s #1 family offering, Abominable, dropped 41.8% to second place this week with $12 million. With $37.8 million total after ten days, that puts it between 1998’s Antz ($35.6 million) and 2012’s Rise of the Guardians ($38.4 million). Those films legged out to $90.7 and $103.4 million totals, respectively. Abominable will instead close out similarly to The Lego Ninjago Movie with a final estimate between $60-65 million. That’s well behind Smallfoot’s $83 million last year. The film has only made an additional $10.3 million overseas so far which is not great for the $75 million production and is likely to become Universal’s first red mark since Little in April.

As mentioned, It Chapter Two joined the ranks of the $200 million club this weekend with its $5m pick-up. In other pending milestone news, Hustlers has the 11th best total for a September release after 24 days, earning $6m this weekend, and is headed for somewhere around $105-110 million. Downton Abbey may be out of range to join the $100 million club, with $8 million this weekend, but it is primed to best the $83 million grossed by Brokeback Mountain to become Focus Features’ all-time domestic grosser.  Roadside’s Judy with Renee Zellweger jumped from 461 theaters to 1,458, grossing $4.4 million.

In less promising news, Fox’s Ad Astra has just about hit the wall in North America with a $4 million weekend, and is limping its way to $50 million. The film would still need another $128 million to break even based on its most conservative cost estimates. Rambo: Last Blood is not doing much better, but also cost less. With $64 million worldwide, after a $3 million domestic gain this weekend, the film still needs around another $86 million to get into the black.


This Time Last Year: Venom‘s Big Wind-Turdlin’ Debut!

(Photo by Columbia / courtesy Everett Collection)

Last year, October kicked off with the biggest top ten haul of all-time this month. Similarly, it also kicked off with a big comic book spinoff – albeit from Marvel – as Venom opened to the biggest October weekend of all time with $80.2 million. But hold on: Bradley Cooper’s A Star is Born opened as well. Even though it finished second with a strong $42.9 million it would go on to outgross Venom: $215 million versus $213m. The Fathom event broadcast of the Met Opera Aida actually grossed enough on just Saturday night to finish tenth overall with $1.18 million. 


On the Vine: A Family of Addams, A Sassy Siri, A Parasite & A Tale of Two Will Smiths

(Photo by Paramount Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection)

The best chance to unseat Joker next weekend rides with not one, but two Will Smiths in Ang Lee sci-fi actioner, Gemini Man. Meanwhile, United Artists does not appear to be expecting great notices for their animated version of The Addams Family. It has been 28 years since the last live-action version of the television theaters hit theaters. The Hangover writers and Bad Moms directors, Jon Lucas & Scott Moore, will try to pull off a wacky version of Spike Jonze’s Her with the Adam Devine-starring Jexi.  Otherwise, you’ll find Bong Joon-Ho’s Parasite opening in limited release next week. 


The Full Top 10: October 4–6

  1. Joker (2019) 69%$93.50 million ($93.50 million total)
  2. Abominable (2019) 81% $12.00 million ($37.83 million total)
  3. Downton Abbey (2019) 84%$8.00 million ($73.62 million total)
  4. Hustlers (2019) 87%$6.30 million ($91.32 million total)
  5. It Chapter Two (2019) 63%$5.35 million ($202.20 million total)
  6. Ad Astra (2019) 84% $4.1554 million ($43.66 million total)
  7. Judy (2019) 83% $4.44 million ($8.90 million total)
  8. Rambo: Last Blood (2019) 27% – $3.55 million ($39.82 million total)
  9. War (2019) 73%$1.58 million ($2.08 million total)
  10. Good Boys (2019) 80% – $900,000 ($82.04 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

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