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Dark, angry Joker still tops the box office


Greg W. Locke

Whatzup Features Writer

Published November 7, 2019

Heads Up! This article is 4 years old.

Incredible. Somehow Todd Phillips’ Joker once again topped the U.S. box office with another $13.9 million in sales, bringing the flick’s domestic sales total to just under $300 million.

This dark, angry, artsy movie is now just $66 million away from hitting the $1 billion mark at the international box office. Speculation about sequels, Oscar awards, Joaquin Phoenix’s going rate, and Todd Phillips’ plans for the future have all already begun.

Here’s what I would like to see: no sequel, Joaquin wins Best Actor, Todd Phillips keeps making real movies, and if we’re lucky, Joaquin will have his pick of directors for the rest of his career.

If this film amounts to those four outcomes, I think it might go down as a game-changing hit: The franchise film that’s actually an anti-franchise film, the career-making performance from one of the all-time great American actors, and the arrival of Todd Phillips, the guy who once upon a time made a documentary about GG Allin.

And now here’s what I think will happen: Joaquin will not win an Oscar and there will be a very mediocre sequel.

Also at the Box

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil continued to roll, taking the No. 2 spot over its third weekend of release with another $12.2 million in sales, upping the flick’s 17-day sales totals to $84 million domestically and $383 million worldwide. It’s a hit, although a very poorly reviewed (43/100 on Metacritic) hit.

Focus Features’ latest release, Kasi Lemmons’ Harriet Tubman biopic, Harriet, had a decent opening weekend, selling $12 million in the U.S. while screening on just over 2,000 screens. Harriet stars Cynthia Erivo (Widows) in the title roll, and in a performance that, despite mixed reviews (66/100 on Metacritic) should jumpstart her career.

The animated version of The Addams Family continued to bring the kiddos out over its fourth weekend of release, selling another $8.5 million, bringing the film’s four-week domestic total to a decent $85 million.

And finally we have Zombieland: Double Tap at the No. 5 spot with $7.3 million in sales ($60 million so far in 17-days). This seems like the ultimate “I’ll wait and watch this one at home” movie of 2019. I hear it’s very enjoyable and, like a lot of you I presume, I plan to watch it once it’s available from my couch.

Also of note: Edward Norton’s passion project, Motherless Brooklyn, had a tough first weekend of release, selling just $3.6 million while playing on 1,342 screens. Oof. That’s a tough beat for Norton and his cast, which features Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Alec Baldwin, Bobby Cannavale, Norton, Willem Dafoe, Bruce Willis, Erthan Suplee, Cherry Jones, Fisher Stevens, and Michael Kenneth Williams, all of whom supposedly worked for rate. This, too, seems like a movie people will check out en masse from the privacy of their homes.

New this Week

Well friends, it has begun, the season of the cinephile. This week will see a huge number of films either in wide release or testing in NYC and LA.

Here they are, in no order of preference:

Doctor Sleep, director Mike Flanagan

Last Christmas, director Paul Feig

Midway, director Roland Emmerich

Honey Boy, director Alma Har’el

The Kingmaker, director Lauren Greenfield

Playing with Fire, director Andy Fickman,

Arctic Dogs, director Aaron Woodley

Mr. Toilet, director Lily Zepeda

Better Days, director Derek Tsang

If I were you I would probably prioritize Honey Boy and, if word of mouth is true, The Shining sequel Doctor Sleep. And, sure, Paul Feig makes good movies, and Last Christmas is probably a fun movie to watch this time of the year.

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