Has Joker finally met its box office match in Maleficent: Mistress of Evil? It certainly looks that way. The Warner Bros. release has been unstoppable in its first two weeks, with its current worldwide total sitting at a cool $556 million. The movie, which stars Joaquin Phoenix as the titular Clown Prince of Crime, has been pure catnip to audiences and has led them away from other box office options including the most recent newcomer, Gemini Man. Is that all about to end?
According to Variety‘s report on the box office projections for Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is going to do serious battle with mischief-maker Joker. The sequel to 2014’s Maleficent is opening in theaters this weekend alongside Zombieland: Double Tap and Jojo Rabbit. However, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil will apparently open in the $45 million domestic range — half of what Joker made in its opening weekend but certainly impressive nonetheless. Meanwhile, projections indicate Zombieland: Double Tap, a sequel to 2009’s Zombieland, will duke it out for the number two spot opposite Joker since both are believed to earn somewhere in the $20 million range.
Variety also notes that Maleficent: Mistress of Evil will be opening in nearly as many theaters as Joker had during its opening weekend, which helps explain its sunny box office chances. The second Maleficent movie will hit 3,700 theaters nationwide. That theater total includes “2,300 3D locations, 380 IMAX screens, 600 Premium Large Format screens, and 135 D-Box/4D locations,” according to Variety. For comparison, Joker opened in 4,374 theaters nationwide.
Could Maleficent: Mistress of Evil actually throw Joker out of the top spot at the box office? Despite the discourse surrounding Joker which has seemingly been equal parts celebratory and critical, the film has proven to be a monster hit both here in the U.S. and internationally. Ultimately, it’s been a boon to Warner Bros., too, and they seem to have a true golden goose on their hands. Meanwhile, this Maleficent sequel has serious star power behind it (Angelina Jolie, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Elle Fanning are leading the way) as well as Disney’s magic touch to help it along. These are two big movies preparing for the first interesting box office battle we’ve seen in quite some time. For now, we should reserve all reactions until the end of the weekend when the numbers finally come in.
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, Zombieland: Double Tap, and Jojo Rabbit debut in theaters this Friday, October 11.