Disney’s new pre-Halloween entry Maleficent: Mistress of Evil managed to take Joker out of the top spot, but was it worth the price? As the second entry in this Globe winner Angelina Jolie- led series, Mistress of Evil sees her titular misunderstood sorceress queen reluctantly vying to save the life of her rival and her rival’s daughter-in-law to be, played by fellow Globe winner Michelle Pfeiffer and Elle Fanning, from sinister forces. Globe nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor stars in the movie. It opened number one in the US with $36 million and in the same place with $117 million abroad. Critical reviews have been fairly negative overall, while it earned an A from Cinemascore audience polls. MMOE surely won’t equal the original 2014 installment’s $785 million run. With Disney’s original features moving to their in-house streaming service Disney+, it will be hard to tell how much pictures earn individually from small screen showings. Being Disney however, lunch boxes, dolls, branded pens and notebooks and such could easily create as much revenue as ticket sales. It’s rarely accurate to call one of their films that doesn’t make back its budget a loss.
Joker for its part stayed in second on the worldwide chart and reached a global gross of $737 million. This weekend, its third in domestic theaters, was worth $29 million and saw the film ending in second place. Going abroad, where Warner Bros. also holds distribution rights, it made $77 million and reached an overseas total of $490.3 million. With numbers this high, and sales holding strong, records that seemed a distant possibility on opening weekend are days away from being broken. Firstly, the overall nominal foreign and domestic sales record for an R-rated film of $785 million, held by Deadpool 2, is about to fall anytime. Then we have the US only record of $370 million, held by The Passion of the Christ. This one should remain out of reach, but with the way Joker’s numbers are staying steady, it may be too early to judge. One benchmark that will remain untouched is The Exorcist’s all-time inflation-adjusted global sales record of $2.5 billion 2019 dollars, set in 1973: this one should hold up until Hollywood films are being shown on more than one planet.
The third-placed domestic film, which could be Joker’s last big-budget victim, was Zombieland: Double Tap. Globe winner Emma Stone and nominees Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg return as a dysfunctional gang of zombie apocalypse survivors. They’re joined by Luke Wilson, who plays Harrelson’s brother, Thomas Middleditch and Rosario Dawson. Double Tap took third place at home with $26.7 million. While it cost around $45 million to produce and won’t be a financial loss, it would have done much better without having to compete against another mass-market R-rated movie geared towards millennials. It made $5 million overseas in limited markets for a global cumulative launch of $32 million.
Gemini Man meanwhile added just $41 million worldwide and with $118 million against a budget of $185 million after two weeks, is looking fairly weak.
Next week, cop drama Black and Blue and Countdown open stateside as studios make way for Terminator: Dark Fate, which opens November 1.
See the latest world box office estimates: