This weekend will once again see a killer clown atop the box office. IT Chapter Two had a nice run for a couple of weeks, but Downton Abbey and Abominable took over the last two weekends, each with a turn at the top. Now, as Warner Bros. gets ready to release the controversial Joker, all eyes are on the DC Comics adaptation as it eyes a potentially record-breaking start. The question is, will the controversy get in the way of that record? Or will all of this chatter amount to little more than noise when it comes to the movie's financial prospects?
Over the past few weeks, concerns over the overt violence depicted in Joker, directed by Todd Philips, have raised various concerns. Certain theater chains are beefing up security this weekend over fear of potential shootings and Philips hasn't been making matters easier with his comments on the press tour. In any event, moviegoers still seem highly eager to see Joaquin Phoenix's take on the iconic villain, as Joker is looking at $80 million or more domestically in its opening frame.
To earn the October opening weekend record, the R-rated comic book flick will need to bring in more than $80.25 million, which is what Venom managed last year when it arrived in theaters. All signs point to that being well within reach. Globally, it's expected that Joker will bring in $155 million or more, which should make this an instant success for Warner Bros. The movie has already earned praise from many critics, and it even took home the top prize at the Venice Film Festival, putting it on a path to awards season glory.
No other studio is daring to release anything against Joker, so the rest of the top five will be dominated by holdovers. Abominable, which took the top spot last week with $20.6 million, should slip just one spot to number two with between $12 and $14 million. The animated feature has proved to be a solid hit for DreamWorks thus far. Downton Abbey and Hustlers should both be in the $8 to $9 million range, give or take, landing in the three and four spots. Hustlers, the Jennifer Lopez-fronted stripper pic, should cross the $100 million mark globally this weekend.
Another scary clown should bookend the top five in the form of IT Chapter Two, which recently crossed $420 million worldwide. While not likely to get anywhere near the $700 million take of its predecessor, this is another clear win for Warner Bros. and Stephen King. Elsewhere, keep an eye on Judy, which is expanding this weekend after a very successful launch last weekend. Also not to be overlooked is War. The Bollywood flick could crack the top ten, opening on just 300 screens. Be sure to check out our full list of weekend box office predictions below and check back with us on Sunday for the weekend estimates. Figures used in this report were provided by Box Office Mojo.
BoxofficelistJoker $82 million
Abominable $14 million
Downton Abbey $9 million
Hustlers $8 million
IT Chapter Two $6 million
Ad Astra $5.5 million
Judy $5 million
Rambo: Last Blood $4.5 million
Good Boys$1.5 million
War $1 million /Boxofficelist