It was the weekend to end all weekends as far as the box office is concerned now that Joker has more than earned the number one spot. The Todd Phillips-directed character study following failed comedian Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) in his downward spiral and subsequent transformation into notorious Gotham criminal Joker broke October box office records with $93.5 million earned.
It’s been a hell of a journey to the top for Joker. Following a near-rapturous reception after its premiere at the 2019 Venice Film Festival, the movie has been met with scrutiny, criticism, and backlash from nearly all angles. Hand-wringing — and in the case of the residents of Aurora, Colorado, rightfully so — over Joker‘s depiction of violence and cagey-yet-adamant clarifications from both Phillips and Phoenix about whether the film bears any responsibility for the effects seeing that violence may possibly have on audiences also cast a shadow ahead of the movie’s October 4 premiere. Add to this reports of increased security and police presence at theaters in cities including New York City and Los Angeles and it all makes for one of the most compelling (to put it mildly) journeys we’ve seen this year.
Joker has been an unstoppable juggernaut since Thursday previews where it began raking in the dough. During previews alone, the movie beat Venom‘s record of $10 million earned domestically by bringing in $13.3 million. Success was seemingly all but guaranteed as Joker continued to reel in audiences across the nation, busting through predictions in its first weekend total as it averaged $21,376 per theater in the 4,374 theaters it was shown in here in the U.S.
If you really want your mind blown (and why not? You’ve made it this far), consider that the Joker isn’t just a success here but also a massive hit overseas. The movie earned $140.5 million internationally over the course of its first weekend in theaters, reflecting earning from 39 markets including UK, Russia, Italy, Spain, Poland, UAE, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Brazil, and Australia. Couple all of these facts and figures with a B+ Cinemascore, the proverbial cherry on top, and Joker is truly flying high as we come to the end of this first weekend in October.
Where does that leave the rest of the cinematic offerings? Well, we’ve got a fun range of movies holding it down at the top of the chart this weekend. Abominable and Downton Abbey are currently sitting in the number two and three spots, respectively. Abominable brought in an even $12 million in its second weekend, a 41.8% dip in earnings here in the U.S. which brings its total gross up to $38 million. Focus Features Downton Abbey added $8 million to its domestic total, which it now sitting at $73.6 million. Meanwhile, STX’s Hustlers brought in $6.3 million in its fourth weekend for a current domestic total of $91 million. Add this to its $18.7 million earnings overseas and the Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu-led flick made on a $20 million budget has now pocketed $110 million globally.
IT: Chapter Two is holding steady in fifth position with $5.35 million earned over the weekend while Ad Astra ($4.5 million domestic) and Judy ($4.4 million domestic) hold the respective sixth and seventh box office chart spots. Rounding out the bottom of the chart is Rambo: Last Blood with $3.5 million, Bollywood action film War breaking into the mix with $1.6 million, and Good Boys with $900,000, all of which was earned in domestic theaters.
At this rate, it’s unlikely Joker will be nudged out of the top spot in its second weekend despite newcomers Gemini Man starring Will Smith, The Addams Family animated movie starring Oscar Isaac and Charlize Theron, and Jexi starring Adam Devine all making their debuts. But I certainly won’t discount these newbies making for some fun, new Joker competition.
|5.||IT: Chapter Two||$5,355,000||$202,205,157|
|8.||Rambo: Last Blood||$3,550,000||$39,823,895|