Weekend Box Office (October 18 - 20, 2019)

by Gitesh Pandya

THIS WEEKEND With Halloween a week away, the box office was dominated by films that were creepy and kooky in so many different ways. Opening at number one was Angelina Jolie's new fairy tale sequel Maleficent: Mistress of Evil which collected an estimated $36M. That was down a significant 48% from the $69.4M launch of the first Maleficent in May 2014 during the early part of that year's summer movie season. The new PG-rated pic averaged $9,499 from 3,790 sites.

Interest faded this time around and lackluster reviews did not help. However, audiences that did come out for the Disney release were very satisfied with what they got and the CinemaScore grade was an A. The studio hopes that positive buzz, limited competition for families, and the coming Halloween holiday will help keep Mistress going over the weeks ahead.

The international box office was robust though and fan interest stayed strong as Maleficent scored a terrific $117M opening weekend overseas for a $153M global debut with a high 76% coming from offshore territories. China led overseas markets with a $22.4M opening and many countries are seeing debuts that are bigger than the first Maleficent's.

Two-time champ Joker was bumped to second place but still delivered strong numbers grossing an estimated $29.2M in its third weekend. Off 48%, that boosted the cume for Warner Bros. to a sensational $247.2M making it the number seven movie of 2019 and also the ninth highest grossing R-rated film of all-time. The incredible run will take Joker into the $300M club in the coming weeks.

Overseas the Clown Prince continued to set the box office ablaze with a stellar $77.8M for the weekend boosting the offshore tally to $490.3M and the worldwide haul to a fantastic $737.5M. With relatively low declines, it's playing more like a prestige film than a comic book movie. The trajectory looks like it will take Joker past the $1 billion mark and that's without any China release which is incredible, especially for a film not driven by special effects. And it would be the first R-rated film to ever join the billion dollar club.

A decade after the first hit film, fans still came out in solid numbers for the action-comedy sequel Zombieland: Double Tap which opened to an estimated $26.7M. The R-rated film averaged $7,706 from 3,468 locations for Sony and debuted a few notches higher than the $24.7M of Zombieland from October 2009. Ticket prices, of course, were lower back then. But in a world of franchise fatigue, plus competition for adults from the Joker juggernaut, Double Tap scored an impressive start. Reviews were generally positive and audience feedback has been quite strong.

Falling 47% in its second weekend was the animated comedy The Addams Family with an estimated $16.1M boosting the cume to $56.8M. The UA release will try to keep bringing kids and families in as the pumpkin holiday approaches and finish in the $90-100M area. Not able to reach that level is Will Smith's Gemini Man which audiences have not been embracing. The poorly-reviewed sci-fi pic did an estimated $8.5M this weekend, tumbling 59% in its sophomore frame, for $36.5M so far. A $50-60M final seems possible for Paramount.

The DreamWorks toon Abominable followed with an estimated $3.5M sliding 42% and upping its cume to a disappointing $53.9M. Overseas numbers have been underwhelming as well especially China (where the story is set) which has grossed only $14.6M after three weeks of play. The entire international marketplace has collected only $74.8M for a worldwide take of $128.7M on its way to a final of just $150-175M making it one of the lowest performers ever for DreamWorks.

On the flip side, Downton Abbey has become the top grossing movie ever for Focus Features with $88.6M to date from North America. The weekend saw another estimated $3.1M for a drop of 37%. A final just shy of $100M seems likely.

In a virtual tie with an estimated $2.1M each were Judy from Roadside Attractions and LD, as well as Hustlers from STX. The Zellweger film eased only 36% and has banked $19M to date. Lopez was down 47% and reached nine-digit territory at $101.9M and counting, off of a modest $20M budget.

Rounding out the top ten was It: Chapter Two which oddly was the only horror movie in the top ten a week before Halloween. The Warner Bros. sequel grossed an estimated $1.5M, down 52%, raising its sum to $209.7M. Studios went lighter than usual with horror films and scary movies this October.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $128.7M which was down 18% from last year when Halloween opened at number one with $76.2M; but up a sharp 68% from 2017 when Boo 2! A Madea Halloween debuted on top with $21.2M.

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Last Updated: October 20, 2019 at 1:15PM ET

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