Despite the presence of three new wide releases this weekend, Warner Brothers’ Joker had no problem holding off the competition. In fact, Joker‘s $55 million take is the best second weekend in October ever, besting the $43 million Gravity earned in its second weekend. The $55 million weekend would also place it as the fourth best weekend in October period, behind the first weekend of Joker, Venom and Halloween. After ten days, the film has nearly crossed $200 million domestic, and it has already scored $544 globally. It should also surpass the entire domestic run of Justice League by next weekend.
With around $30 million, The Addams Family easily slides in at number two this weekend, despite soft reviews (44 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) and a solid B+ Cinemascore from the audience that matters (those under the age of 12). I’m mostly surprised at how resilient The Addams Family has been since it debuted as a cartoon in The New Yorker in the 1950s. It was adapted into a black-and-white television series in the ’60s, a series of movies in the ’90s, and now a cartoon in 2019. A $30 million opening with a couple more weeks before Halloween to capitalize on young audiences may be enough to spawn a sequel before this iteration disappears and re-appears in another 20 years in another format.
Ang Lee’s Gemini Man won’t be getting a sequel for either the Young Will Smith or the Old Will Smith. The film cost around $150 million to make, and it opened with a very soft $20.5 million, which means it will need to put up spectacular numbers overseas if it has any chance of breaking even. With new IP, reviews are often important to motivate audiences to seek out something original, and critics doomed this one from the outset (26 percent on Rotten Tomatoes). Audiences, however, seemed to like it OK, giving it a B+ Cinemascore and an 83 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. Will Smith is obviously still a huge name, but it’s been a long time since even Smith could carry an original project (2008’s Hancock earned $227 million, although I remember that being a somewhat disappointing result at the time).
We’ll skip past all this weekend’s holdovers for now and jump straight to number nine, which is where the Adam Devine comedy Jexi opened with a disappointing $3.1 million. It’s not terribly surprising. Reviews for the film about a guy falling in love with his smart phone were terrible (15 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), and the marketing push was practically nonexistent. The film was greenlit by CBS Studios before CBS Studios announced it was shutting down, so it didn’t have much of a chance to begin with, even if it had received better reviews.
The rest of the top ten were all holdovers. Briefly: Abominable came in at number four with $7 million to bring its total to $48 million. Downton Abbey added another $5 million and it has now earned $82 million domestic and around $150 million worldwide. Hustlers closes in on $100 million after a $3.85 million weekend brings it up to $98 million (and $121 million globally). Judy continues to perform well in art houses, racking up another $3.3 million to bring its total to $15 million. In its sixth week, IT: Chapter 2 has now earned $207 million after a $3.3 million weekend. Finally, Ad Astra scored $1.9 million to bring its total to $47 million.
The big story of the weekend, however, might be Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite, which played in three theaters over the weekend and earned $376,000, which gives it one of the top 20 theater average debuts of all time. In fact, every single screening on all three days of the weekend was sold out in New York.
Next weekend, Joker position at number one will likely fall to Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. In fact, it may fall to number three behind Zombieland 2: Double Tap, which to be honest, is the fall movie I’ve been most looking forward to seeing.