Weekend Box Office

Weekend Box Office Results: Joker's Wild as $93M Debut Breaks Venom October Record

Arthur Fleck says: "Hey! What a wonderful kind of day!" as he laughs all the way to the bank the weekend of October 4-6.

by | October 6, 2019 | Comments

There is no surprise just how well Todd Phillips’ Batman villain spinoff, Joker, did at the box office. Ticket buyers showed up in anticipation and curiosity on what the director of The Hangover trilogy would bring to the iconic villain, last portrayed by Jared Leto in Suicide Squad. Of course, it was Heath Ledger’s take that won the Oscar in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. Is Joaquin Phoenix in the running for one as well?


King of the Crop: Joker Puts A Smile On 

(Photo by Niko Tavernise / © Warner Bros. / courtesy Everett Collection)

Joker can already claim a few October victories: Its $39 million Friday beat the record set by 2018’s Halloween, which started with $33 million. Then Joker bested the all-time October weekend record ($93.50 million) set also last year by Venom ($80.25 million), along with Venom‘s Thursday previews top standing ($10 million) by grossing $13.3 million.

Joker is the 77th film to open to $90 million or higher. Not one of them failed to reach at least $200 million and only 11 failed to reach $250 million, including It: Chapter Two which is not going to make it. Believe it or not, of the 206 films to gross over $200 million, only 17 have been rated R — a list that includes two Deadpools, two Its and a pair of Hangovers, directed by Joker‘s Todd Phillips.  


Fresh Surprise: War, What Is It Good For? Well…

(Photo by Yash Raj Films / courtesy Everett Collection)

Two Asian films did very well in limited release. Siddharth Anand’s War grossed $1.58 million in just 305 theaters, good enough to finish in the Top Ten. Then My People, My Country came really close, finishing 11th with $865,000 in just 70 theaters for the third highest per-theater-average in the Top Ten behind Joker and Pedro Almodovar’s Pain and Glory which grossed $160,087 in four theaters. Compare those numbers to another notable limited release this week…


Rotten Returns: Lucy in the Sky Gets No Piece of the Pie

(Photo by Fox Searchlight Pictures. All rights reserved. / courtesy Everett Collection)

Not doing well at all in limited release is Fox Searchlight’s Lucy in the Sky, which earned $55,000 in 37 theaters this weekend.  Lucy’s $1,486 per theater average is bad enough to make Fox Searchlight’s worst ten PTAs of all-time. Currently 10th (out of the nearly 190 films in their history) if the estimates don’t get worse, it’s a list that includes the likes of this year’s Tolkien; Lucia, Lucia; Miss March; Whiteboyz; Jean-Marc Vallee’s Demolition; Richard Linklater’s Fast Food Nation; The Art of Getting By; Wilson; and Alex Proyas’ Garage Days


The Top Ten and Beyond: AbominableAd AstraRambo: Last Blood Struggling

Universal Pictures
(Photo by Universal Pictures)

Last week’s #1 family offering, Abominable, dropped 41.8% to second place this week with $12 million. With $37.8 million total after ten days, that puts it between 1998’s Antz ($35.6 million) and 2012’s Rise of the Guardians ($38.4 million). Those films legged out to $90.7 and $103.4 million totals, respectively. Abominable will instead close out similarly to The Lego Ninjago Movie with a final estimate between $60-65 million. That’s well behind Smallfoot’s $83 million last year. The film has only made an additional $10.3 million overseas so far which is not great for the $75 million production and is likely to become Universal’s first red mark since Little in April.

As mentioned, It Chapter Two joined the ranks of the $200 million club this weekend with its $5m pick-up. In other pending milestone news, Hustlers has the 11th best total for a September release after 24 days, earning $6m this weekend, and is headed for somewhere around $105-110 million. Downton Abbey may be out of range to join the $100 million club, with $8 million this weekend, but it is primed to best the $83 million grossed by Brokeback Mountain to become Focus Features’ all-time domestic grosser.  Roadside’s Judy with Renee Zellweger jumped from 461 theaters to 1,458, grossing $4.4 million.

In less promising news, Fox’s Ad Astra has just about hit the wall in North America with a $4 million weekend, and is limping its way to $50 million. The film would still need another $128 million to break even based on its most conservative cost estimates. Rambo: Last Blood is not doing much better, but also cost less. With $64 million worldwide, after a $3 million domestic gain this weekend, the film still needs around another $86 million to get into the black.


This Time Last Year: Venom‘s Big Wind-Turdlin’ Debut!

(Photo by Columbia / courtesy Everett Collection)

Last year, October kicked off with the biggest top ten haul of all-time this month. Similarly, it also kicked off with a big comic book spinoff – albeit from Marvel – as Venom opened to the biggest October weekend of all time with $80.2 million. But hold on: Bradley Cooper’s A Star is Born opened as well. Even though it finished second with a strong $42.9 million it would go on to outgross Venom: $215 million versus $213m. The Fathom event broadcast of the Met Opera Aida actually grossed enough on just Saturday night to finish tenth overall with $1.18 million. 


On the Vine: A Family of Addams, A Sassy Siri, A Parasite & A Tale of Two Will Smiths

(Photo by Paramount Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection)

The best chance to unseat Joker next weekend rides with not one, but two Will Smiths in Ang Lee sci-fi actioner, Gemini Man. Meanwhile, United Artists does not appear to be expecting great notices for their animated version of The Addams Family. It has been 28 years since the last live-action version of the television theaters hit theaters. The Hangover writers and Bad Moms directors, Jon Lucas & Scott Moore, will try to pull off a wacky version of Spike Jonze’s Her with the Adam Devine-starring Jexi.  Otherwise, you’ll find Bong Joon-Ho’s Parasite opening in limited release next week. 


The Full Top 10: October 4–6

  1. Joker (2019) 68%$93.50 million ($93.50 million total)
  2. Abominable (2019) 81% $12.00 million ($37.83 million total)
  3. Downton Abbey (2019) 84%$8.00 million ($73.62 million total)
  4. Hustlers (2019) 87%$6.30 million ($91.32 million total)
  5. It Chapter Two (2019) 63%$5.35 million ($202.20 million total)
  6. Ad Astra (2019) 84% $4.1554 million ($43.66 million total)
  7. Judy (2019) 82% $4.44 million ($8.90 million total)
  8. Rambo: Last Blood (2019) 27% – $3.55 million ($39.82 million total)
  9. War (2019) 73%$1.58 million ($2.08 million total)
  10. Good Boys (2019) 80% – $900,000 ($82.04 million total)

Erik Childress can be heard each week evaluating box office on WGN Radio with Nick Digilio as well as on Business First AM with Angela Miles and his Movie Madness Podcast.

[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]


Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

Tag Cloud

award winner Food Network Rocketman DC Comics zero dark thirty movie ratings boxoffice sequel Valentine's Day joker Adult Swim Marathons Esquire RT History Sci-Fi TV GLAAD cancelled DirecTV singing competition renewed TV shows Black History Month Christmas nature Britbox dogs biography Anna Paquin Super Bowl indie dramedy kids A&E batman Spring TV MCU Hulu Freeform TCA 2017 TIFF Captain marvel anime video Family Cosplay Turner Classic Movies comiccon Rock Lifetime E3 New York Comic Con Hear Us Out war Shondaland GIFs Schedule Shudder Podcast crossover Biopics BET Reality Spike crime CNN Columbia Pictures dragons screenings harry potter Year in Review screen actors guild Crackle 71st Emmy Awards SXSW blockbuster BBC America SDCC spy thriller Musical book VH1 Showtime political drama Awards Tour sports Fantasy anthology Chernobyl Warner Bros. elevated horror Animation TV renewals reboot Teen Horror Amazon Studios Apple PBS USA NBC teaser Best and Worst Baby Yoda Sundance TV TCA Winter 2020 Vudu strong female leads spinoff SundanceTV Oscars TNT Turner cooking San Diego Comic-Con festivals franchise adaptation romantic comedy Sneak Peek criterion cops Awards Lifetime Christmas movies Holiday GoT Walt Disney Pictures Elton John Western Reality Competition FOX disaster 45 Comic Book Masterpiece Winners Musicals movies TLC hist Election Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Calendar Opinion Superheroe Trivia Interview space Disney Channel jamie lee curtis comedies Disney zombie what to watch richard e. Grant Logo Stephen King Bravo foreign LGBT cancelled TV series Drama Video Games HBO Max First Reviews cartoon APB serial killer YouTube The Walking Dead Rom-Com transformers American Society of Cinematographers YA OWN thriller MSNBC Spectrum Originals Toys travel Crunchyroll Rocky robots politics vampires Cannes See It Skip It Comedy Central cinemax Red Carpet Nat Geo stoner scary movies X-Men Academy Awards 2017 psychological thriller Character Guide comic Extras Binge Guide latino Sundance Now dark Disney streaming service National Geographic Martial Arts The CW social media ESPN mission: impossible Paramount Network The Purge IFC Films die hard romance Song of Ice and Fire Trophy Talk Grammys CW Seed dceu ghosts binge Pop PaleyFest Hallmark unscripted Marvel Studios halloween Ghostbusters Film zombies cancelled TV shows Amazon Prime Video diversity Chilling Adventures of Sabrina spider-man TV Land TruTV RT21 Universal Creative Arts Emmys Arrowverse adventure Endgame 2020 Syfy 21st Century Fox FX on Hulu Fox News Infographic Mary Poppins Returns animated concert Summer werewolf cults NYCC Emmy Nominations Watching Series Peacock Tarantino canceled miniseries name the review series Mystery cats reviews independent cars Fall TV breaking bad justice league El Rey CBS children's TV science fiction Lucasfilm Pride Month Discovery Channel green book First Look Action 2019 a nightmare on elm street Acorn TV MTV History revenge game show Mudbound Travel Channel USA Network south america Hallmark Christmas movies historical drama comics TCM ABC stand-up comedy Paramount Brie Larson Dark Horse Comics IFC Holidays Set visit finale Nickelodeon universal monsters chucky Apple TV Plus Tumblr FXX asian-american 4/20 psycho true crime HBO spanish language rotten movies we love Pop TV Quiz AMC Photos based on movie Pirates golden globes 20th Century Fox Pixar best game of thrones Amazon Prime Country 2018 TCA A24 YouTube Premium Mary poppins Avengers Countdown composers facebook period drama Mindy Kaling talk show tv talk The Witch spain Trailer Star Trek Television Academy Writers Guild of America hispanic BBC ABC Family directors Emmys Marvel Lionsgate Epix Ellie Kemper Classic Film Superheroes CMT Polls and Games dc police drama FX natural history ITV CBS All Access Black Mirror versus Nominations blaxploitation witnail Starz WarnerMedia theme song 24 frames Funimation discovery Premiere Dates Sony Pictures sitcom medical drama Disney Plus technology DC Universe mutant Winter TV WGN Cartoon Network The Arrangement television crime drama DGA aliens toy story Pet Sematary YouTube Red Comedy 2016 crime thriller mockumentary Comics on TV OneApp docudrama Netflix Christmas movies quibi VICE Music President Tomatazos Women's History Month Kids & Family Disney+ Disney Plus child's play free movies Ovation Netflix LGBTQ Apple TV+ streaming DC streaming service supernatural parents casting E! Thanksgiving Tubi Amazon Certified Fresh Heroines TBS Box Office Film Festival Mary Tyler Moore 007 Marvel Television documentary Star Wars canceled TV shows slashers Sundance cancelled television doctor who sag awards christmas movies 2015