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Todd Phillips’ Joker is laughing all the way to the bank, earning an outstanding $55 million in its sophomore weekend for a 10-day domestic total of $192.7 million and a massive global haul of $543.9 million.
Joker easily remained at No. 1, although MGM and United Artists Releasing’s early Halloween family pic The Addams Family came in a strong No. 2 with $30.3 million, ahead of expectations and more than enough to bury Ang Lee’s big-budget Gemini Man, starring Will Smith, which followed at No. 3 with an estimated $20.5 million.
Overseas, Joker remained a powerhouse for Warner Bros., grossing $125.7 million from 79 markets for a foreign cume of $351.2 million.
Gemini Man, conversely, took in a soft $31.1 million from 58 markets for an early $39 million offshore total and $59.5 million globally. Mexico and Russia led the weekend with $2.7 million each, followed by $2.2 million both in the U.K. and South Korea. The movie was beaten by Joker in many places; at the same time, in 25 territories, the pic marks Lee’s biggest opening. Gemini Man has big aims for China, where it launches Friday.
Joker, starring Joaquin Phoenix as the twisted supervillain, fell only 43 percent in North America, one of the lowest drops ever for a superhero or superhero-related pic behind Aquaman. The latter debuted over the year-end holidays, when films generally have huge second weekends.
The CG-animated Addams Family, co-financed by Bron, features a star-studded voice cast led by Oscar Isaac and Charlize Theron, along with Chloë Grace Moretz, Finn Wolfhard, Nick Kroll and Bette Midler. The film’s opening is a big win for MGM and UAR — the joint distribution company owned by MGM and Annapurna Pictures — and there almost certainly will be a sequel.
“We always knew this piece of great IP was worthy of bringing back to the big screen,” says Jonathan Glickman, president of MGM’s Motion Picture Group. He added that launching the film close to Halloween was key. “Timing has as much to do with making a theatrical experience an event as the movie itself.”
The Addams Family cost around $50 million to produce before marketing.
Gemini Man, from Skydance and Paramount, reportedly cost $140 million to make after rebates and will need to do big business overseas if it isn’t to lose money. The two companies each have a 35 percent equity stake in the pic, while China’s Fosun has a 25 percent stake, followed by Alibaba with 5 percent.
Outside of the groundbreaking technology used to create a younger version of Smith, critics have ravaged Lee’s film. The story follows an elite assassin who faces off with a younger version of himself.
Joker no doubt is impacting Gemini Man, since both skew male. In North America, the latter pic played to an ethnically diverse audience: Caucasians made up 39 percent of ticket buyers, followed by African-Americans (26 percent), Hispanics (22) and Asians/Other (13 percent), according to PostTrak.
The VFX-heavy Gemini Man opens three years after Lee’s last movie, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, all-out bombed at the box office. Lee used cutting-edge technology to shoot both films in high frame rates for 3D screens, a format that has been on the decline.
Gemini Man, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, and Addams Family received B+ CinemaScores.
Jexi, the final theatrical release from CBS Films, also opened nationwide this weekend via Lionsgate. The comedy bowed at No. 8 with a forgettable $3.1 million.
South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho’s acclaimed Parasite ignited the specialty box office with a location average of $125,421 — the best since La La Land ($176,221) three years ago. It also scored the best opening location average in modern times for a foreign-language film.
The Neon release boasts a rare 99 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and is playing in three theaters in New York and Los Angeles.
Among holdovers, DreamWorks Animation and Universal’s Abominable came in No. 4 in its second outing with $6.2 million for a domestic total of $46.4 million. Overseas, it pulled in another $14.1 million for a foreign tally of $60.1 million and a $108.1 million cume worldwide.
The Universal empire also took the No. 5 slot with Focus Features’ Downton Abbey, which earned $4.9 million in North America for an updated domestic total of $82.7 million and an impressive $152.2 million globally.
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