Five years after Angelina Jolie's "Maleficent" cast a spell over the box office, the villainous enchantment has returned to the top of domestic charts. Disney's "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil," a sequel to 2014's fantasy adventure based on the sorcerer "Sleeping Beauty," debuted to a disappointing $ 36 million from 2,790 North American theaters, nearly half of what the first movie did in its Opening Journey ($ 69)
Despite opening during the weekend, "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil" easily towered over competition including holdings from Warner Bros. "" Joker "and newcomer Sony's" Zombieland: Double Tap. "The" Maleficent "follow-up was favored as one of the few offers serving younger female moviegoers in a marketplace that was largely dominated by male skewed titles such as" Joker "and Paramount" Gemini Man. "Women represented 56% of ticket buyers, approximately 50% of which were under the age of 25.
"Maleficent: Mistress of Evil" marks Disney's lowest opening weekend of the year and will now rely on the international box office to re-coup its $ 1
Given its A CinemaScore and a 96% Rotten Tomatoes average, Disney president of global distribution Cathleen Taff says the studio remains optimistic that "Maleficent : Mistress of Evil "will have legs in the coming weeks.
"Although it is a lower opening than we expected, we think we have a good start to October with a fantastic window leading into Halloween," Taff said. "With a lot of space, the audience will force themselves into the film."
Elle Fanning also returned for the sequel and joined newcomers to the series Michelle Pfeiffer, Ed Skrein and Chiwetel Ejiofor. "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil" was directed by Joachim Ronning ("Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man Tell No Tales").
Fellow new release "Zombieland: Double Tap" was launched at No. 3 with a better-than-expected $ 26.7 million and should continue to build momentum in the coming weeks as Halloween approaches. The original "Zombieland" premiered at $ 24 million in 2009, ending its cash drive with a solid $ 102 million globally. Directed by Ruben Fleischer, zombie comedy stars Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin and Bill Murray. Rosario Dawson, Zoey Deutch, Luke Wilson and Thomas Middleditch joined the cast. "Zombieland 2" cost $ 42 million to make, about twice as much as the studio spent on the original ($ 23 million).
After its two-week reign above the domestic cash register lists, "Joker" went to second place and added $ 29 million in its third release weekend. It puts the dark super villain's origin story – starring Joaquin Phoenix and directed by Todd Phillips – near the $ 250 million mark in North America, where ticket sales hit $ 247 million. Abroad, "Joker" has scared a whopping $ 490 million for a worldwide $ 737.5 million premium.
MGM and United Artists Releases "The Addams Family" ended the weekend in fourth place, dipping 47% to $ 16 million in their second outing, which puts domestic ticket sales at $ 56.8 million. Finishing the top five is "Gemini Man", which dropped 58% from the first weekend to $ 8.5 million. Ang Lee's sci-fi era, starring Will Smith, continues to suffer from cash receipts floating to $ 36.5 million.
In milestones in box offices, STX and Lorene Scafaria's "Hustlers" crossed the coveted $ 100 million benchmark on the domestic market. After six weeks in theaters, "Hustlers" raised another $ 2 million, increasing its move to $ 101.8 million in North America and $ 128.8 million globally.
At the same time, Focus Features "Downton Abbey" has surpassed $ 88 million in the states and now stands as the studio's highest-grossing film ever in the domestic box office, a record previously held by "Brokeback Mountain" with $ 83 million.
Among the jumping seasons for the Fox Awards, "Jojo Rabbit" bowed with a strong $ 350,000 from five New York and Los Angeles theaters, averaging $ 70,000 from each venue. Written and directed by Taika Waititi (who also plays the film as an absurdist imaginary Adolf Hitler), "Jojo Rabbit" is set during World War II and follows a young boy eager to join Hitler Youth, who discovers that his mother is hiding a Jewish girl in the wind. Critics have been most impressed by "Jojo Rabbit" (it has 77% on Rotten Tomatoes), while the audience has rewarded it with an A CinemaScore.
"There are many reasons to be very optimistic about the future of Jojo Rabbit," said Frank Rodriguez, Fox Searchlight's president of domestic distribution. "Notably, the very good performance on the box this weekend, the excellent CinemaScore of A, and the interest that we see from exhibitors and moviegoers eager to play and watch the film in the coming weeks. "
" Jojo Rabbit, "based on the novel" Caging Skies, "will continue its pace rollout next weekend in eight new markets, including Denver, Austin, Phoenix, Washington DC, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Toronto. The studio aims for a nationwide release no later than November 8. The cast includes Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie, Scarlett Johansson, Rebel Wilson and Sam Rockwell.
In second place, Robert Eggers "The Lighthouse" raised $ 419,764 from eight places. A24 and New Regency's darkly comic drama, directed by Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe, will continue to expand nationwide next weekend, where it will play on 500 screens.
Neon's "Parasite" also generated $ 1.2 million at the box office as it expanded to 33 theaters in its second frame. From director Bong Joon ho, the acclaimed social satire has made $ 1.8 million so far.
Overall, the domestic box office remains down 5% from last year, according to Comscore.