Disney’s Maleficent 2 topped the charts while Zombieland 2 outperformed its original.
With ten days left in both the month and the Fall box office season, the numbers are coming down to the wire. Instead of a clear win or loss, this week’s figures were just a push. Maleficent, Mistress of Evil, took first with lower numbers than predicted while Zombieland Double Tap put up better than hoped for numbers. Several smaller releases did well, but in such limited release as to fall outside the top ten. It will all come down to next weekend’s releases to determine how Fall 2019 stacks up historically.
This Week in Box Office History.
The box was down modestly, 4% from last week and 18% from last year. The overall revenue came in at 135 million dollars domestically, which is good enough for third place for this weekend, just barely missing second place. The difference between second place and third place is going to be a theme here.
Historically, we’re looking at an October box office that doesn’t realistically have a chance at topping last year’s record. It would need to make 257 million dollars in ten days, and I don’t really see a break out hit in next week’s three new releases. That being said, we’re currently pacing at a strong third place for October totals and Fall totals, and we’re in second place for yearly all-time pacing. If next weekend’s box office can deliver a 135-150 million dollar frame, we could jump into second all across the board.
Top Film One Year Ago: Halloween 
Top Film Ten Years Ago: Where the Wild Things Are.
Top Three Films.
Maleficent 2 landed in first place for its debut, taking in 36 million dollars. That’s roughly half of what the original made in 2014, and below industry predictions. I read an interesting think piece about films that captured attention for being novel interpretations of favorite properties, but whose success was more about curiosity than franchise investment. I think that could explain sequels like Pacific Rim Uprising, Godzilla KoM and The LEGO Movie 2 falling to 50% of their originals’ totals. Only the diehards came out the second time around.
Joker fell to second place with 29 million dollars. The villain-led feature has made nearly 750 million dollars worldwide so far. It is poised to do something the clown prince has long dreamed of: surpass Batman at the box office….the 1989 version of him at least. If it continues earning well, it could even beat up the Man of Steel (2013 version, naturally.)
Zombieland 2 shot into third with a stronger-than-expected 26 million dollars. That’s 2 million dollars better than the original…which came out ten years ago when tickets were 75% cheaper. So, a wash, but at least the franchise didn’t lose any ground for such a long wait between sequels.
Most of the other noteworthy films fell out of the top ten. Parasite, by Snowpiercer phenom Bong Joon Ho just barely missed, taking an impressive 11th place with just 33 theaters showing the film. With a 1.2 million dollar take, it could easily have reach the top ten in most other weeks.
In ultra-limited release, The Lighthouse from director Robert Eggers (The Witch) and Jojo Rabbit from Taika Waititi (What We Do In the Shadows) both delivered solid numbers, good enough for 16th and 17th place with less than ten theaters each to their names.