Warner Bros.’ dark supervillain origin story, starring Joaquin Phoenix in the titular role, is pacing for a domestic debut of $82 million over the Oct. 4-6 weekend, according to those with access to estimates from industry leader NRG. Another service has the R-rated pic coming in at $77 million, while some have it even higher at $87 million.
The current crown-holder for the month of October is Sony’s superhero pic Venom, which debuted to $80.2 million last year, not adjusted for inflation.
Joker first came on tracking last week. This week’s surveys, released Thursday, didn’t show any dramatic change in either direction as Warners wages its final marketing push. Tracking is far from an exact science, and has been off-kilter this year in particular on certain titles.
New titles on tracking include Ang Lee‘s sci-fi epic Gemini Man, starring Will Smith. Early NRG estimates show the the sci-fi epic debuting domestically to $29 million, ahead of Lee’s Life of Pi ($22.5 million). The pic opens Oct. 11. The range being given by the combined services is $28 million to $30 million.
From Paramount and Skydance Media, Gemini Man employs groundbreaking CG technology to create a younger Smith.
Lee’s action pic features Smith as an elite assassin who is pursued by younger clone of himself and also stars Clive Owen, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Benedict Wong. Lee used what he learned from his 2016 experimental film Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk in the making of Gemini Man.