It's not often that Disney has to battle for a box office win, but that's exactly what happened this weekend when its "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil" went up against Warner Bros.' sensation, "Joker."
When the dust settled "Joker" won the domestic box office with an estimated $18.9 million. "Mistress of Evil" came in second with $18.5 million. Because there are only estimates, the official winner of the weekend will be known on Monday when the exact figures are posted by the studios.
The "Maleficent" sequel came into the weekend as the reigning box office champ, winning last weekend with a $36.9 million take in its opening. However, that was below industry expectations, which made it vulnerable to be topped this weekend, a quiet one with no major release opening as it's just before Halloween.
The weekend before Halloween is always a dull one when it comes to movie releases. The conventional wisdom is that many are out and about, leaving the holdovers to rule the multiplexes.
But with "Mistress of Evil" not performing the way Disney expected it has opened the door for another title to take the crown, and Warner Bros.' "Joker" was happy to take on the challenge.
The origin story of the DC villain continues to amaze in its fourth week in theaters. With its $849 million global cume to date, the movie has passed "Deadpool" ($782 million) and its sequel ($785 million combining the R-rated and PG-13 rated releases) to become the highest-grossing R-rated movie ever at the worldwide box office. Its $277.6 million domestic gross puts it seventh all-time at the domestic box office (passing "The Hangover," which is the previous hit by "Joker" director Todd Phillips).
With its win over a Disney title to recapture the domestic box office crown this weekend (for now), it's is just the latest amazing achievement for "Joker," one of the most unlikely success stories of 2019.