Maleficent: Mistress of Evil knocked Joker off the number one spot, but it was a disappointing debut for the belated Disney sequel. Angelina Jolie reprises her role from the 2014 blockbuster, which launched to an estimated opening weekend of $36 million. To put that in perspective, back in 2014, Maleficent generated $69 million for its opening weekend for a domestic haul of more than $241 million. Add more than $500 million from the rest of the world, and it's clear to see why Disney wanted a sequel, but as the first movie told a complete story, there is a strong case to be made for the need for Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.
Originally, Disney had the sequel scheduled for a summer 2020 release but made the surprise move to shift the date forward by nine months. In part, the decision was down to the merger with 20th Century Fox and how Disney planned on releasing the films that were completed and in production. Mistress of Evil is ideally suited for family-friendly Halloween viewing; a solid second weekend could be for the taking. That said, for a movie with a production budget of $185 million, a $36 million start is nowhere near where Maleficent: Mistress of Evil needs to be. On the upside, a robust international launch of $117 million gives the movie a global start of more than $150 million.
Elsewhere in the top ten, Joker continues to impress dropping one place to number two with $29 million for a current domestic cume of $247 million. Any doubts over the longevity of Todd Philips' standalone origin story were cast aside last weekend, but after three weeks on release, Joker has grossed more than $747 million worldwide. Landing in third place is belated sequel Zombieland: Double Tap, a decade after the original film gave us the gift of the Bill Murray cameo, director Ruben Fleischer reunites the band for a fun sequel. Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Jesse Eisenberg, and Abigail Breslin are back on zombie killing mode generating $26.7 million for their troubles.
The Addams Family slipped to fourth, adding $16 million to its total ($56 million), and Will Smith's Gemini Man shows no signs of improving taking a tumble to fifth place. Directed by Ang Lee, the ambitious movie has struggled to find the audience its $138 million budget needs. Finally, Taika Waititi's Jojo Rabbit started its limited release (showing on just five screens), taking a mighty $350 thousand over the weekend the acclaimed comedy-drama will steadily roll out to more locations over the coming weeks.