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Joker inches past Maleficent 2 to reclaim US top spot on fourth week of release


Story by Jack Foley

TODD Phillips’ Joker looks to have topped the US box office once again by just pipping Disney’s Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.

According to studio estimates, Warner Bros has its Joker at $18.9 million, while Disney reckons its Maleficent sequel has taken $18.5 million. The numbers could yet change on Monday as estimates are confirmed.

If true, though, the figures serve to show just how much Joker has become a phenomenon. Heading into the weekend, the DC stand-alone overtook Deadpool to become the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time (not adjusted for inflation).

In doing so, it reclaimed the US top spot.

Joker‘s US tally is now $277.6 million, while its global haul is $849.1 million. It’s now assured of passing $900 million globally and could yet even near $1 billion.

Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie in the titular role, is now considered a major disappointment in the US, where its total to date is $65.4 million.

The film is faring far better overseas, where it earned another $64.3 million for a foreign tally of $228.1 million and $293.5 million globally. But it continues to be one of Disney’s lowest performing releases of recent years.

There was better news for Disney overseas, too, where its rollout of Terminator: Dark Fate (acquired as part of its takeover of 20th Century Fox) yielded encouraging returns.

The event pic, which brings back Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger to the franchise, earned $12.8 million, led by the UK with $3.9 million.

Back in the US, the top five positions were occupied by holdover titles (including The Addams Family in third and Zombieland: Double Tap in fourth), which meant that several new releases had to be content with places just outside of the prime spots.

Leading that pack was horror title Countdown, which placed sixth, with $9 million. The supernatural horror follows a young nurse (Elizabeth Lail) who downloads an app that claims to predict exactly when a person is going to die, and it tells her she only has three days to live.

The reported budget for the film is less than $7 million after tax rebates, which means it is already certain to be profitable in spite of bad reviews.

Sony’s new action thriller Black and Blue followed at No. 7 with $8.3 million, which also was ahead of expectation. Naomie Harris and Tyrese Gibson star in the thriller, about a rookie cop who inadvertently captures the murder of a young drug dealer on her body cam.

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