Joker gets the last laugh on a scary weekend

A photo taken on Sept 28 shows Joaquin Phoenix at the premiere of Joker in Los Angeles.
A photo taken on Sept 28 shows Joaquin Phoenix at the premiere of Joker in Los Angeles. PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Warner Bros' Joker won a battle of the supervillains over the weekend, selling an estimated US$18.9 million (S$25.7 million) in tickets to edge out Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil and regain the top spot in North American theatres, an industry group reported on Sunday (Oct 27).

The Joaquin Phoenix scarefest slipped from the previous weekend's take of US$29.2 million for the Friday-to-Sunday period, but still bested the US$18.5 million taken in by Maleficent, a dark fantasy from Disney starring Angelina Jolie.

Joker, with Phoenix incarnating Batman's notorious nemesis, accomplished the rare feat of returning to No. 1 in its fourth week out. It has now taken in an impressive US$849.1 million globally, becoming the most successful R-rated movie in history, according to Variety.

With Halloween only days away, scary movies did well overall.

In third spot was The Addams Family from United Artists, at US$11.7 million. The computer animation, following the spooky Addams family and some creepy relatives, features the voices of Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloe Grace Moretz and Snoop Dogg.

In fourth, at US$11.6 million in its second week out, was Sony's Zombieland: Double Tap, a comedy starring Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone and Jesse Eisenberg.

New release Countdown from STX films placed fifth at US$9 million. The low-budget horror film tells the tale of a nurse (Elizabeth Lail) who finds an app that predicts exactly when people will die - and learns her own death is only days away.


Rounding out the top 10 were Black And Blue (US$8.3 million), Gemini Man (US$4 million), The Lighthouse (US$3.1 million), The Current War: Director's Cut (US$2.7 million) and Abominable (US$2 million).