Joker tops North American box office for second week

Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Joker provides the backstory for the rise of Batman's maniacal nemesis, painting a dark and disturbing portrayal of a would-be stand-up comedian's descent into madness.
Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Joker provides the backstory for the rise of Batman's maniacal nemesis, painting a dark and disturbing portrayal of a would-be stand-up comedian's descent into madness.PHOTO: NIKO TAVERNISE / WARNER BROS PICTURES

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Warner Bros.' Joker laughed best again this weekend as it took in an estimated US$55 million ($75.53 million) in North American movie theaters, an industry group reported Sunday.

Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Joker provides the backstory for the rise of Batman's maniacal nemesis, painting a dark and disturbing portrayal of a would-be stand-up comedian's descent into madness.

Last week, the film directed by Todd Phillips - maker of The Hangover trilogy - set a record for an October release, taking in US$93.5 million in its first weekend, Exhibitor Relations said.

United Artist's family- and Halloween-friendly The Addams Family placed second, scaring up an estimated US$30.3 million for its opening weekend.

It follows the mysterious and spooky Addams family as they prepare for a visit from some even creepier relatives.

In third, at an estimated US$20.5 million, was Paramount's new film Gemini Man, which stars Will Smith as a retired hitman who must face off against a younger clone of himself.

Abominable from Universal came in fourth, down from last week's second, at an estimated US$6.2 million. It tells the story of a teen and her friends trying to help a young Yeti reunite with its family as a wealthy man seeks to capture it as a prize.

And in fifth was Focus Features' Downton Abbey, at US$5 million. The cinematic follow-up to the hit TV series has the Crawleys and their earnest staff scrambling to prepare for an unexpected visit by the British royals.

Rounding out the weekend's top 10 were: Hustlers (US$3.9 million) Judy (US$3.3 million) IT: Chapter Two (US$3.2 million) Jexi (US$3.1 million) Ad Astra (US$1.9 million).