Weekend Box Office Report

Phil Crone

Laughing to the Bank

Despite a couple big newcomers, not many were projecting "Joker" to lose the weekend, but I doubt many saw how big the weekend was coming. None of the major projection sites favored by FMLers had "Joker" breaking $50M this weekend, but "Joker" did just that and more, grossing an astounding $55,861,403, just a 42% decline from its record-breaking debut weekend. That already puts "Joker" just a few million shy of $200M domestic, meaning it will likely surpass last year's major October releases of "A Star is Born" and "Venom" for total domestic gross before it even hits its third weekend, with the next major milestone being "Gravity's" $274M domestic, an all-time record for movies that opened in October.

For FML purposes, "Joker" smashed pricing's expectations, but it was one of those weekends where a couple others did the same, albeit for very different reasons.

The Circle Expands

Despite four PC appearances entering the weekend, "The Lion King's" FML run has been akin to that of 2016's "Finding Dory" - largely uneventful and mildly disappointing. Many of its PC appearances have been thanks to sheer volume, as it was nearly impossible to keep it out of the PC its first two weeks just by virtue of its stranglehold on cinemas. However, this weekend proves to finally be the exception, thanks in large part to a pricing miss.

Last year, if you'll recall, "Christopher Robin" received a surprise expansion this same weekend, as Disney looked to take advantage of a void in the family movie market on a family friendly weekend with holidays in both the U.S. (Columbus Day or Indigenous People Day depending on your state) and Canada (Thanksgiving). It was also a clear last gasp at reaching $100M domestic for "Christopher Robin," a goal which they fell just short of. With the family market sufficiently served this year between both "The Addams Family" and "Abominable," no one was expecting Disney to replicate their expansion.

Until they did. "The Lion King" picked up about 900 additional theaters this weekend, just enough to see its weekend grosses hold about flat at $684,962. If you're a new/casual FML player, it's never a bad idea prior to lock to head over to boxofficemojo.com and check out this week's theater counts to see if something got a nice expansion. Or let fellow insider Lindsay Chrapko tell you those counts and more in her "Would You Like to Build a Lineup?" column that goes up every Thursday night! Ok, back to the Recap - That number was good for $97,852/Bux and a pretty easy BP win, although not as easy as you would have thought with one new release being the third movie to shatter the bonus bar this weekend.

Tuesday's Gone, Wednesday's Here

Pricing did not want to believe in "The Addams Family," and I can't say I blame them. Made for a relatively shoestring animated budget of $40M and distributed by the new United Artists Releasing that already flubbed one animated opening earlier this year in "Missing Link," pricing decided to make "The Addams Family" prove it could beat expectations. So, of course, "The Addams Family" beat those expectations to gross $30,300,007. You win some, you lose some.

The good news for FMLers was that both "The Lion King" and "The Addams Family" could be seen coming, and they led to a nice "two-way Cineplex." A two-way Cineplex is a Cineplex that can win the Perfect Cineplex with either of two options winning Best Performer. In this case, "The Addams Family" x2/"Abominable" x2/"Downton Abbey"/"The Lion King" x3 worked out as a pretty nice two-way option, and it worked out for the 390 FMLers who screened it, also making it this week's Most Played Cineplex. That combination grossed $90,680,445 after including $11M in bonuses.

A few final box office notes before we go…

"Men in Black International" ended its domestic run at just a hair over $80M and $254M worldwide. Somehow, I believe that equates to a profit if you assume its all-in cost was double the production budget of $110M. Good work MIB!

"It: Chapter Two" surpassed $200M domestic, making it just the third R-rated horror movie to achieve that feat.

Double Trouble

This weekend marks our first in while without a shoe-in box office champion, although the smart money looks to be on "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil," the follow-up to Disney's successful 2014 release, "Maleficent," which grossed $241M domestic/$758M worldwide. Also in with a chance at the upset is the follow-up to the 2009 cult classic "Zombieland," "Zombieland 2: Double Tap." Set your lineups by Friday Noon Eastern/9 AM Pacific and we'll see you here next week!