Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Weekend Box Office: Joker is still clowning on its competition

Illustration for article titled Weekend Box Office: Joker is still clowning on its competition
Photo: Niko Tavernise (Warner Bros.)

The folks behind Joker must be putting on a very happy face, indeed, because the clown prince of crime is absolutely dominating all competitors at the box office. Warner Bros.’ origin story for the most iconic of Batman villains is the textbook definition of a “dark and gritty reimagining,” but it actually earns the better elements of that stereotype—and in the process is earning some serious green.


The ’70s-style superhero movie pulled in $55 million in its second week in release, dropping only 42% and marking the biggest second weekend ever for October, sending the previous record holder Gravity (which netted $43 million back in 2013) floating off into space. It’s made almost $200 million in the U.S. alone, and crossed the half-a-billion mark internationally. Say what you will about the film, there’s something impressive about a movie carried solely by one of Joaquin Phoenix’s signature oddball character studies becoming a massive global hit.

A few new releases battled it out for second place. The winner was all together ooky: The Addams Family pulled in $30.2 million, with the animated film successfully finding the family-friendly counter-programming spot to Joker’s juggernaut. It has a good shot at hanging around for a couple of weeks, too, given its Halloween-friendly story and style. Unfortunately, the producers of Gemini Man probably had to take a cue from their film’s seeing-double lead performance and give themselves a good hard look in the mirror, because the Ang Lee action-thriller, which cost $138 million to make, brought in just $20 million in its opening weekend. It could prove to have legs, but audiences only awarded it a B+ Cinemascore, so Will Smith might be wishing he could have a talk with his younger self about box-office expectations, especially given that he made a film it’s impossible to see as its director intended.

The top five is rounded out by holdovers Abominable and Downton Abbey, with the former claiming the fourth-place spot with $6.17 million and the latter managing to hold onto the fifth spot with $4.9 million, despite being out for a month now and not featuring any men with severe psychological problems wearing clown makeup. The big screen adaptation of the PBS drama has now made $82.6 million domestically—perhaps Gemini Man should’ve billed itself as the continuing story of Call The Midwife.

In new releases, limp voice-app comedy Jexi landed in eighth place with $3.1 million, while Bong Joon ho’s Parasiteone of the current front-runners for best movie of the year—pulled off a real coup in limited release, landing in 13th place while playing at only three theaters. It’s per-screen average of $125,421 is the largest of the year, and one of the largest openings ever for a Palme d’Or winner in this country. Take that, all you pro-capitalism movies.

For a more detailed breakdown of this weekend’s box office, check out Box Office Mojo.

Alex McLevy is a writer and editor at The A.V. Club, and would kindly appreciate additional videos of robots failing to accomplish basic tasks.