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On Sunday, Warner Bros. estimated a North American gross of $18.9 million for Joker, while Disney showed Maleficent earning $18.5 million. However, official Monday numbers have Maleficent at $19.4 million, and Joker at $19.2 million.
The close race between the two studio titles is another sign of the remarkable staying power of Joker, which hit theaters almost a month ago. It’s unusual for a movie to almost reclaim the top spot in its fourth weekend, particularly when facing off with a Disney event pic that is only in its sophomore outing.
Joker‘s domestic tally is now $277.6 million, while its global haul is a staggering $849.1 million. It’s now assured of zooming past $900 million worldwide after becoming the top-grossing R-rated pic of all time worldwide.
Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie in the titular role, has been a major disappointment in the U.S., where its total to date is north of $66 million. The pic is faring far better overseas, where it earned another $64.3 million for a foreign tally of $228.1 million and more than $294 million globally.
Disney was on double duty overseas this weekend as it began rolling out Terminator: Dark Fate in a handful of markets (it inherited foreign rights when absorbing 20th Century Fox). The event pic, which Paramount will release next week in North America, earned $12.8 million, led by the U.K. with $3.9 million.
In the U.S., Joker and Maleficent led a sleepy pre-Halloween frame (the spooky holiday has never been a big moviegoing corridor, since consumers are caught up with parties).
Among new offerings, STXfilms’ Countdown fared the best, coming in at No. 6 with $9 million from 2,675. The supernatural horror pic follows a young nurse (Elizabeth Lail) who downloads an app that claims to predict exactly when a person is going to die, and it tells her she only has three days to live.
The reported budget was less than $7 million after tax rebates. Countdown earned a C+ CinemaScore.
Sony’s new action thriller Black and Blue followed at No. 7 with $8.3 million from 2,062 theaters. (Both Black and Blue and Countdown came in on the high end of expectations.)
Naomie Harris and Tyrese Gibson star in the Screen Gems project about a rookie cop who inadvertently captures the murder of a young drug dealer on her body cam. Deon Taylor directed from a script by Peter A. Dowling.
The Current War: Director’s Cut finally arrived on the big screen two years after Harvey Weinstein premiered the film at the Toronto International Film Festival. Shortly after, the movie was shelved amid the scandal engulfing the disgraced entertainment mogul.
The historical drama about Thomas Edison (Benedict Cumberbatch) and George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon) opened to a forgettable $2.7 million from 1,022 theaters. It is the first release from 101 Studios, the company launched by former Weinstein Co. executive David Glasser.
The Current War received a B CinemaScore. The film played older, with 55 percent of the audience over the age of 45, per PostTrak.
Alfonso Gomez Rejon directed the movie about the dramatic race between Edison and Westinghouse to illuminate the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.
The Current War, which bowed at No. 9, was edged by the specialty pic The Lighthouse, which cracked the top 10 chart in its second weekend as it moved into a total of 625 theaters.
The A24/New Regency release, starring Willem Defoe and Robert Pattinson, earned $3.1 million for a 10-day domestic total of $3.7 million.
Among other award contenders, Neon and Bong Joon-ho’s South Korean film Parasite continued to pull in strong numbers in its third outing, grossing $1.8 million from 130 cinemas for a location average of $14,107 and domestic tally of $4.1 million. Parasite came in at No. 12.
Jojo Rabbit, moving up the chart to No. 14 in its second weekend as it upped its location count to 55 theaters, grossed another $1 million for a strong location average of $18,500 and a 10-day total of $1.5 million for Fox Searchlight.
Roadside Attractions scored two victories this weekend as Judy hit $21.5 million domestically to become the top-grossing platform release of the year to date, and The Peanut Butter Falcon reached $20 million.
Elsewhere, the Bruce Springsteen concert doc Western Stars from Warners opened to a subdued $560,000 from 532 locations for an average of $1,008. Factoring in Fathom grosses from special sneaks, the film’s total earnings stand at $1 million.
In partnership with Imax, Kanye West also hit the big screen over the weekend with the experimental, 38-minute Sunday sermon film Jesus Is King, which is tied to his new album of the same name. The pic grossed an estimated $850,000, although those numbers could shift upward if Sunday traffic is busier than expected.
Among other new offerings, No Safe Spaces, from podcast host Adam Carolla and conservative commentator Dennis Prager, debuted to $45,000 from a Phoenix theater. That’s the second-best gross for a feature doc opening on a single screen behind Michael Moore’s Sicko ($69,000), not adjusted for inflation. It was also the highest location average of the weekend.
Oct. 28, 3:45 p.m. Updated with final weekend numbers for Maleficent and Joker.
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