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Disney and Sony Sequels Challenge “Joker” for Box Office Crown

A pair of sequels looked to challenge Warner Bros. for box office supremacy over the weekend. “Joker” has been king for the past two weeks but both Disney and Sony looked to put and end to that with each studio releasing sequel films, “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” and “Zombieland: Double Tap”. As October nears its end studios are looking for all the attention they could get, but how well did these sequels fair? Did either film top WB and DC’s box office juggernaut? Let’s find out in this week’s Box Office Breakdown.

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“Joker” finally met its match at the hands of Disney as WB’s potential Oscar favorite fell to second over the weekend with a $29 million take. “Maleficent: Mistress of the Evil”, Disney’s sequel to 2014’s “Maleficent” which focused on the famed villain from “Sleeping Beauty”, took in a decent but underwhelming $36 million, well below industry expectations and just over half of the opening weekend gross of its predecessor. It’s the lowest opening of any of Disney’s live action remake library including the two “101 Dalmatians” adaptations from 1996 and 2000 and the first live action version of “The Jungle Book” from 1994. “Mistress of Evil” managed to earn $117 million overseas though. You can read my review from over the weekend here.

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Coming in behind “Maleficent” and “Joker” was the weekend’s other new major release, “Zombieland: Double Tap”. Released ten years after the first film, the long awaited sequel outperformed expectations earning $26.7 million in its opening and at one point was even estimated to possibly challenge “Joker” for the runner-up spot. It’s a respectable opening for the film outperforming the $24.7 million debut of its predecessor even with the ten-year gap. Not bad for a film that spent a long time in development hell. You can read my take on “Double Tap” by clicking here for my review. Following “Double Tap” was “The Addams Family” which held on to a top five position thanks to a $16.05 million weekend and “Gemini Man” dropped to fifth. “Abominable”, “Downton Abbey”, “Judy”, “Hustlers” and “It: Chapter 2” rounded out the top ten. In specialty cinema the slow bunr horror offering “The Lighthouse” and the black comedy “Jojo Rabbit” each debuted inside the top twenty despite only playing in eight and five theaters respectively. “The Lighthouse” is expected to expand to over 500 theaters this coming weekend while “Jojo Rabbit” looks to expand a bit more slowly into November.

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It will be interesting to see who wins out this coming weekend as “Maleficent” doesn’t look to carry a lot of momentum while “Joker” has proven to have a lot of staying power. Three new wide releases will threaten to mix things up. Sony and Screen Gems will bring the action cop thriller “Black and Blue” to the big screen while STX Entertainment’s phone ap themed horror feature “Countdown” looks to capture the attention of thrill seekers with Halloween right around the corner. Finally, 101 Studios is planning to release the director’s cut of the long dormant “The Current War” which originally debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival all the way back in 2017. Can “Joker” or “Maleficent” hold them off? We will find out this time next week.

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