Box Office Report: “Joker” Keeps Dancing Its Way to the Top

Joker continues to add to its successful domestic haul Joaquin Phoenix in Joker (Warner Bros.)

Sequels continue to struggle as oddities like Robert Eggers’ “The Lighthouse” are unexpected hits.

Today’s box office report is the first since Box Office Mojo revamped their entire website with a whole new layout. Visually, the site is ugly to the eye and difficult to navigate, but a new layout is tolerable over time. What isn’t tolerable is how part of this revamp includes putting a number of Box Office Mojo features, including pages dedicated to the box office figures for individual movie studios, behind a paywall. The fact that a company like Amazon (which owns Box Office Mojo) is trying to squeeze even more pennies out of customers by making parts of a website that have been free for well over fifteen years is disgraceful, pure and simple. 

With that rant out of the way, let’s move onto the results for this weekend’s domestic box office, a task made infinitely more difficult by Box Office Mojo’s new layout. It was a close race for first place this weekend, but Joker came out on top for the third time thanks to a tiny 35% dip, giving it a fourth-weekend gross of $18.9 million and a $277 million domestic haul. Having become the biggest R-rated movie in history at the worldwide box office before the weekend even began (it’s taken in $849 million worldwide as of today, putting it possibly on track to become the first R-rated movie to gross over $1 billion worldwide), it’s safe to say that Joker is a monumental hit for all involved.

On top of its numerous other achievements, it’s also the newest sign of how financially reliable Warner Bros. DC movies have become in recent years. Joker will soon cross $300 million and in the process make 2019 the fourth-consecutive year WB has had a DC Comics movie soar above $300 million domestically. The studio has had a number of box office hits based on these characters in the past but never on an annual basis like this. 

In second place was Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, which fell 50% this weekend (on par with the first movies own 50% second-weekend decline) to add $18.5 million to its domestic haul. This new Maleficent film has cracked $65 million domestically after ten days of release and how it holds throughout early November will determine its final domestic haul, though it does appear assured to at least crack $100 million domestically. The Addams Family came in at third place this weekend with $11.7 million, a tiny 28% dip from last weekend. This new take on the iconic creepy clan has now grossed $72 million, and though it may fall sharply once Halloween comes and goes, the lack of big animated movies in early November means this could end up becoming only the fifteenth MGM movie ever to cross $100 million domestically. Next up was Zombieland: Double Tap, which fell 57% this weekend to add $11.6 million to its domestic total of $47 million. Looks like this horror/comedy will eventually fall below the $75.5 million lifetime domestic total of the first Zombieland.

Shockingly, October 2019 has seen the release of only one new horror wide release. That title dropped this week in the form of Countdown. Despite the scarcity of other horror movies in the marketplace, Countdown debuted to only $9 million, below the opening weekends of most other big horror fare in 2019 as well as the bows of fellow STX horror titles like The Boy and The Bye Bye Man. However, Countdown cost only $6.5 million to make, so while it won’t be fulfilling its highest of expectations, at least this will prove to be a profitable title in the long haul for STX, though don’t expect them to announce 2 Count 2 Down anytime soon.

Black and Blue opened to a disappointing $8.3 million this weekend, below the bows of recent Screen Gems thrillers like When the Bough Breaks and The Intruder. Like most Screen Gems titles, Black and Blue was made on a super low-budget, which will help to minimize the impact of this kind of lackluster opening. 

Real quick detour into wide release holdovers as we talk about the third-weekend performance of Gemini Man, which fell another 52% to gross another $4 million for an underwhelming $43.3 million 17-day domestic total. 

The Lighthouse had a great expansion into 586 locations as it grossed $3 million this frame for a $5,261 per-theater average, bringing it up to $3.6 million after ten days of domestic release. It appears that The Lighthouse is on track for a domestic haul north of $10 million, an impressive accomplishment given how thoroughly the feature takes a stand against anything resembling mainstream sensibilities. 

The unorthodox Lighthouse actually outgrossed a far more mainstream movie this frame playing in nearly double the theaters. The Current War finally made its domestic box office bow this weekend. Taking in just $2.7 million from 1,022 locations, the inaugural film for newbie distributor 101 Studios hardly had any marketing to speak of while its mixed reviews ensured adult moviegoers would pass it over in favor of the deluge of acclaimed dramas currently found in the marketplace. The box office may be disappointing, but at least the director of The Current War managed to get his version of the film out there.

Abominable took in another $2 million this frame, a 43% drop from last weekend for a $55.7 million domestic total. Downton Abbey fell 37% for a sixth-weekend gross of $1.9 million and a current domestic total of $56.8 million. Continuing to deliver impressive box office this frame was Parasite, which went into 129 locations and took in another $1.8 million for a per-theater average of $14,000 and a domestic total of $4.1 million. Parasite is demonstrating outstanding resilience as it expands its theater count and it’ll be fascinating to see just how high it goes at the domestic box office. Meanwhile, Judy took in another $1.1 million this frame (a 45% drop from last weekend), bringing its lifetime domestic total to $21.5 million, in the process becoming only the second limited release title of 2019 to crack $20 million domestically. 

Jojo Rabbit expanded into 55 locations this weekend and took in another $1 million for a per-theater average of $18,927 and a ten-day domestic total of $1.5 million. Housefull 4 opened to $880,000 from 315 locations while Jesus is King debuted to $830,000 from 372 IMAX locations. The Bruce Springsteen directed documentary Western Stars opened to just $560,000 from 537 locations this weekend for a per-theater average of $1,000. This isn’t a shocking result given how little buzz or marketing was behind the critically acclaimed project.

An extended version of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood played in 1,674 locations this weekend and grossed $550,000 for a per-theater average of only $328. The newest Tarantino movie has amassed $140.4 million domestically. Pain & Glory grossed $430,097 from 117 locations this frame for a per-theater average of $3,676 and a domestic haul of $1.6 million. Meanwhile, Jay and Silent Bob Reboot kept on chugging in its theatrical release as it grossed another $219,397 from 17 locations for a per-theater average of $12,906 and a noteworthy domestic total of $1.5 million. Once it surpasses the $1.8 million domestic total of Tusk, this new Jay and Silent Bob adventure will become Kevin Smith’s biggest movie since Cop Out in 2010. 

Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice added $144,677 to its solid domestic run that now stands at $3.7 million despite its peak theater count being 247 locations. The Peanut Butter Falcon took in another $115,420 this frame, taking it to $20.07 million, making this sleeper hit only the third limited release of 2019 to crack $20 million domestically. The PragerU documentary No Safe Spaces opened to $45,236 from a single movie theater while Frankie opened to $22,941 from four locations for a per-theater average of $5,735.The top twelve movies this weekend grossed a total of $82 million, down 9% from this same weekend last year when Halloween reigned atop the box office once again. October 2019 has now grossed just over $700 million. No way it catches up with the $819 million haul of October 2018, to become the biggest October in history, but it should beat out the $739 million haul of October 2014 to become the second-biggest October ever at the domestic box office.

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