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Joker Delivers a Record October Opening

Joker

It was a given that Joker would top the weekend box office but a record setting weekend wasn’t a given for the R-rated film.

Joker was the top film domestically and earned $234 million worldwide. With an estimated $93.5 million, the film had the largest October domestic opening ever. It beat Venom which earned $80.25 million. Justice League earned $93.8 million when it opened in November 2017 and when final receipts are in Joker could top that.

The film also earned the fourth largest domestic opening ever for an R-rated film. Its preview grosses of $13.3 million was also a record for October preview grosses.

The audience gave the film a “B+” CinemaScore with those under 35 giving it an “A-“. On various rating sites, the film enjoyed good reviews, especially from audiences.

Internationally, the film debuted in 73 markets where it earned $140.5 million. The film opens in France and Germany later this week.

Abominable came in second place for its second weekend earning an estimated $12 million. The film opened in China where it earned $11.2 million. Internationally it earned $24.6 million from 44 markets. Worldwide, the film has earned $76.3 million.

Downton Abbey was in third place in its third week. The film earned an estimated $8 million to bring its domestic total to $73.6 million. The film also added $6.6 million to its international total which is now $61.8 million for a worldwide total of $135.4 million.

Hustlers came in fourth place bringing in an estimated $6.3 million. Internationally, the film added $1.9 million. Domestically it has earned $91.3 million, internationally $18.7 million and worldwide $110 million.

Rounding out the top five was It: Chapter Two which earned an estimated $5.4 million in its fifth week. It’s the third R-rated film ever to top $200 million domestically. Internationally, the film earned $5.6 million from 78 markets for an international total of $234.5 million. Worldwide, the film has earned $436.7 million and still has top open in Japan which happens in November 1.

We’ll be back in an hour when we do a deeper dive into 2019’s comic movie adaptations.

Abominable Tops the Weekend Box Office

Abominable

Abominable won the weekend with an estimated $20.9 million. That’s the largest opening for an original animated film in 2019. It’s also only one of three original films to top the box office in North America in 2019.

Internationally, the film is playing in 30 foreign territories where it brought in $8.8 million.

That $31.1 million is far short the $75 million budget and with the animated Adams Family film around the corner, the film may struggle to turn a profit. The film did get a good word of mouth with an “A” CinemaScore and a 96% score currently on RottenTomatoes which all gives it a fighting chance.

In second place was Downton Abbey which brought in an estimated $14.5 million in its second weekend. It also added $10 million internationally. Worldwide, the film has earned $107.1 million so far.

Hustlers dropped just 32% for an estimated $11.5 million over the three days. The domestic total is now over $80 million. The film also added $3 million internationally to bring that total to $14.8 million and a worldwide total of $95.4 million.

In fourth place was It: Chapter Two which earned an estimated $10.4 million. That’s just a 32% dip in its fourth week. The film has eanred $193.9 million domestically. Internationally it added $11 million to bring that total to $223.5 million for a worldwide total of $417.4 million.

Rounding out the top five was Ad Astra which dropped from second the previous week. The film earned an estimated $10.1 million in its second week to bring its domestic total to $35.5 million. The film also earned $18 million overseas from 50 markets to bring that total to $53.5 million.

No comic films made the top 37 listing but we’ll be back in an hour for a deeper dive into 2019’s films.

Downton Abbey Takes First with a Record for Focus Features

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey won the weekend with an estimated $31 million. That’s Focus Features’ largest opening ever.

The film opened with an audience that was 74% female and the audience was 60% aged 35 or older. The film received an “A” CinemaScore and has a 96% audience score on RottenTomatoes and 7.8/10 on IMBD as of this post.

Internationally, the film opened in 17 markets last weekend and added 15 this week for 32 total. The film brought in an estimated $10 million to bring its international total to $30.8 million for a worldwide total of $61.8 million so far.

It was a close race for second as Ad Astra barely beat Rambo: Last Blood. Ad Astra earned an estimated $19.2 million, not great for a film with an $80-$100 million budget. The film also earned an estimated $26 million from 44 markets.

The film received a “B-” CinemaScore and had an audience that was 54% male and 73% aged 25 or older.

Rambo: Last Blood was third with an estimated $19 million which was just ahead of the previous chapter’s $18.2 million debut. Audiences gave that film a “B” CinemaScore and the audience was 66% male.

It: Chapter Two dropped to fourth place with an estimated $17.2 million domestically to bring that total to $179.2 million. It’s the third-largest R-rated horror film domestically of all-time.

Rounding out the top five was Hustlers with an estimated $17 million to bring its domestic total to $62.5 million. It also added $3 million from 18 markets for a foreign total just shy of $10 million.

In comic based films…

Spider-Man: Far From Home earned an estimated $340,000 after 12 weeks to bring its domestic total to $389.7 million.

We’ll be back in an hour for a deeper look at 2019’s comic adaptations.

It: Chapter 2 Repeats in First for the Weekend

It: Chapter 2

It: Chapter 2 took the top spot at the box office for the second weekend in a row. The film earned an estimated $40.7 million dipping 55% from the previous weekend. The film has earned $153.8 million so far domestically. It also added $47 million internationally to bring that total to $169.5 million and $323.3 million worldwide.

Hustlers debuted in second giving Jennifer Lopez her largest live-action debut. The film earned a solid $33.2 million the highest in STXfilms’ history. The film’s audience was 67% female and 69% were aged 25 or older. The audience was 36% Caucasian, 26% African American, 27% Hispanic, and 9% Asian. The opening day audience gave it a “B-” CinemaScore. Internationally it opened in 15 markest with $4.5 million.

Angel Has Fallen fell to third place earning an estimated $4.4 million. Domestically, the film has now earned $60.4 million which outpaces its predecessor.

Good Boys took fourth place earning an estimated $4.3 million to bring its domestic total to $73.3 million. It also added $1.8 million internationally.

Rounding out the top five was The Lion King which earned $3.6 million. The movie has earned $534 million domestically. That’s the ninght weekend in a row the film has been in the top five and now the 12th largest domestic release. Internationally, the film added $6.9 million for a worldwide earning of $1.617 billion.

When it comes to comic films…

Spider-Man: Far From Home earned an estimated $665,000. The movie’s domestic total now stands at $389.2 million.

We’ll be back in an hour for a deeper dive into this year’s comic film adaptations.

Movie Review: Hustlers

Hustlers movie poster

Who would have thought a movie about grift and strip clubs could be so boring? And yet here we are with Hustlers. Despite some hard work in the performances by Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez, despite a feminist sensibility brought to the film’s cinematography and feel thanks to writer and director Lorene Scafaria, the end result is just boring.

The film is “based on a true story,” specifically, an article published by New York Magazine entitled “The Hustlers at Scores” written by Jessica Pressler. As the story goes, prior to the financial crisis of 2008, everything was hunky-dory in New York strip clubs. Idiot bankers were loose with their cash and made it rain.

But as with all things in the financial crisis, when Bear Stearns and Countrywide went down, it was the little people who got hurt– like the strippers. Suggesting that they are now like modern-day Robin Hoods taking advantage of the people who got bailouts, a group of former strippers begin a scam to start running up massive bills for bankers and brokers.

There’s a strong element of sisterhood and feminism as these girls stick together. Indeed, the film opens with Janet Jackson’s “Control,” providing a sort of thematic layout for the film. Lopez and Wu are always, in fact, in control of the situation, not the horny bankers who want to get rubbed on in a champagne room. So, good on you, girls!

While this isn’t saying much given her cinematic history, Hustlers might be the best performance by Lopez in a film ever. She’s the center of the story and is extremely compelling. Wu is also extremely good– at least on par with her star-making performance in last year’s Crazy Rich Asians or on Fresh Off the Boat, and certainly gives her more opportunities to stretch her dramatic acting chops. It just isn’t enough to save this film.

For those who might be interested in this film because of advertised cameos by Lizzo and Cardi B, those are literally little more than cameos. Blink and you’ll miss them. You will be disappointed. You will see more of them by watching one of their music videos on YouTube. However, Julia Stiles does show up as the journalist writing this story, which always sort of puts the brakes on the story– one of the many flaws in this film’s storytelling.

And for those coming to this film hoping for a little bit of sin and nudity, you are also going to be mostly out of luck. Please remember that there is free pornography on the internet, and you shouldn’t come to this film looking for cheap thrills. You won’t find it.

Indeed, one of the most fascinating things about this film is the feminist filmography. While there are some shots of nudity, most of it is actually not very sexual and presented almost in a businesslike fashion. The longest portion of nudity that you get is actually a naked man seen from the waist down as he is being taken to a hospital. Yup, there’s equal-opportunity nudity in this film. But that really isn’t what this movie is about. Again, if that’s what you’re looking for, there is porn on the internet.

But mostly this film is just plain boring. It feels much longer than its two hour run time and despite good character work by Wu and J-Lo, there really isn’t much more to see here. However, this film was definitely not made for me. Others may find a sense of enjoyment out of it even though I did not.

2 stars out of 5

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