LOS ANGELES • In its fourth weekend in theatres, Warner Bros' Joker returned to the top of domestic box-office charts, defeating Disney's Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil.
The two villains had been in a close race for first place, but estimates show Joker will walk away victorious with US$18.9 million (S$25.7 million) in ticket sales. Maleficent 2 is close behind with US$18.5 million.
The surprise win highlights the endurance of Joker, which is only the third movie this year - following Universal's Glass and Disney's Avengers: Endgame - to secure first place during three weekends.
Joker recently became the most successful R-rated movie in history, collecting US$849 million worldwide. Joaquin Phoenix's gritty take on Batman's infamous nemesis has generated US$277 million in North America and US$571 million at the international box office.
Angelina Jolie's latest film has generated a lacklustre US$65 million at the domestic box office. The dark fantasy sequel continues to be a bigger player overseas, where it pulled in another US$64.3 million for an international haul of US$228 million. Globally, the Maleficent follow-up is nearing the US$300-million mark.
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 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.
Countdown from STX films was fifth at US$9 million. It 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.
Others in 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).
REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE