Entertainment

‘Maleficent: Mistress of Evil’ claims No. 1 over ‘Joker’

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Walt Disney Co.’s “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” knocked “Joker” out of the No. 1 spot at the box office, but just barely.

Studios on Sunday say the film starring Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning grossed an estimated $36 million in North America and $117 million internationally in its first weekend in theaters. The first film had a much stronger domestic showing, opening to nearly $70 million domestically in 2014, and the sequel was expected to earn more stateside.

“It’s not as strong as we hoped domestically, but it’s a good start for October and we have a great window leading into Halloween,” said Cathleen Taff, Disney’s president of theatrical distribution. “Most encouraging is the fact that audiences seem to be responding very positively.”

The A CinemaScore — in contrast to the mixed critical reviews — suggests that the film could have a longer life at the box office.

Although it fell to second place after two weekends at the top, Warner Bros.′ “Joker” continues to hold strong at the box office. It added $29.2 million in its third weekend in North America. The villain origin story has grossed over $247 million domestically. Worldwide, it’s earned $737.5 million, and has already surpassed the lifetime grosses of “Justice League” and “Suicide Squad.”

Now the big question is whether the R-rated film will make it to $1 billion, but with a $55 million production budget, it’s already a massive hit for the studio and will likely also become director Todd Phillips’ highest-grossing film too.

“It’s already in territory that nobody thought it would get to. It’s achieved a box office that is above the wildest expectations of the studio and analysts,” said Paul Dergarabedian, Comscore’s senior media analyst. “Even if the box office stopped right now it’s an absolute, unqualified success.”

Third place went to another new sequel, Columbia Pictures’ “Zombieland: Double Tap” with $26.7 million. The R-rated comedy comes 10 years after the original, reuniting Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone and Woody Harrelson with director Ruben Fleischer.

“Three films earning over $25 million, that doesn’t happen very often,” Dergarabedian noted, although the weekend is down from last year when “Halloween” opened to over $76 million.

In notable landmarks, “Hustlers” crossed $100 million domestically this weekend. It’s the second STX film to do so this year after “The Upside.”

And buzzy, awards-friendly indies are continuing to thrive. “Parasite,” which opened last weekend, added $1.2 million. This weekend, Taika Waititi’s Nazi satire “Jojo Rabbit” opened in five theaters with a strong $350,000, the black and white Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe mindbender “The Lighthouse” earned $419,764 from eight theaters, and “Jay & Silent Bob Reboot” grossed $93,520 from one screen this weekend.

But the year is still down 5% from last year.

“It was a great weekend for sequels and great weekend for indie movies,” Dergarabedian said. “But we’re still struggling to get ahead of last year. We’re racing to the finish line here. We’ve only got 11 weekends left to go.”

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

MORE ENTERTAINMENT STORIES

Colder and quiet rest of the week

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A good 20° swing Wednesday morning with temperatures in the lower to mid 20s this morning with feel-like temperatures in the teens. it will be a clear start then brighter heading through the rest of the morning and the afternoon! Sunshine won’t help us out too much in terms of temperatures today. Daytime highs should warm to the upper 30s. Wednesday night will be a cold one with lows in the lower 20s with a partly cloudy sky.

Thursday will be another cold one with highs struggling to reach 30°. It’ll still be a bright one with a mostly to partly sunny sky. A slow warming trend will start Friday with highs warming to the upper 30s with a mixture of sun and clouds.

This weekend will be split with a chance of showers arriving late in the day Sunday. Highs will continue to warm to the mid-40s Saturday with a partly sunny sky. Clouds return Sunday with showers later in the evening and overnight. Rain will continue through Monday. Tuesday looks to be a dry day for now then showers should return by midweek with highs in the mid 40s.

MORE STORIES

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK