DC’s villainous origin story for the Joker broker October Box Office Records.
October is off and running, with Joker laughing all the way to the bank. DC’s latest offering took the top spot and broke the record, set just one year ago, for biggest October domestic debut. Despite controversy and middling advanced reviews, the crown prince of crime dominated. His big weekend helps to establish a box office trend for the month that I’m sure Hollywood is watching closely.
This Week in Box Office History.
Joker’s big entrance boosted the box office 54% over last week’s totals, with 146 million in sales. While it was a great start, it fell a bit short of last year’s total for the weekend, where Venom and A Star is Born propelled the box office to 178 million dollars. Joker did displace Venom as the biggest opening ever in October, but a lack of other wide releases handicapped the total box.
If you noticed that a comic book villain topped the weekend for two straight, record-breaking weekends, that is not the end of the parallels. Both years featured a bad guy at first place, and both movies had an Abominable Snowman movie in the top three. I’m not sure if that means next year we should expect another combo like that…but Hollywood certainly loves to chase trends. Maybe they can cut out the middle man and give Mr. Freeze his own film in 2020.
Top Film One Year Ago: Venom.
Top Film Ten Years Ago: Zombie Land
Top Three Films.
Joker led the clown car procession this weekend with 93 million dollars in domestic sales. He likewise splatted a pie in the foreign box office’s face to the tune of 140 million dollars. Worries about theater violence didn’t keep crowds away. In fact, besides best October debut, Joker also saw the widest release for a film in October. Critics remain lukewarm on the property, but fans went crazy, giving it an A- at Cinemascore and 90% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.
Second place saw DreamWorks Abominable tumble in with 12 million dollars. It has made back about half of its projected budget in domestic sales so far. More troubling, the joint US/China production has failed to really snowball abroad, taking in just 38 million dollars so far. Perhaps we’re not going to be seeing another Yeti next October after all.
Downton Abbey gracefully submitted to become the third place holder. There’s no financial worries for these aristocrats: the film has piled up 78 million dollars in the US alone, quadrupling its budget.
In it’s national expansion, Judy remained at seventh place. It managed to double the value of its limited release launch, taking in 4 million dollars. It grossed 9 million in two weeks. No budget information has been posted, but similar art-house biopics normally range from 15-20 million dollars. Should do just fine.
The only other new film to crack the top ten came care of India. Yash Raj’s action team-up War shot its way onto the list at number nine with 1.5 million dollars. The film, featuring two of the country’s biggest action heart-throbs premiered in 300 theaters in limited release.