Warner Bros. has a reason to smile this weekend, as Village Roadshow/DC’s “Joker” is primed to blow by multiple October box office records. It already has one in the bag after grossing $39 million from 4,300 screens on Friday — including $13.3 million from Thursday previews — giving it the biggest opening day ever in October history.
After that big start, “Joker” is now estimated to reach the top end of independent tracker projections with a $92-93 million opening. That beats the October opening weekend record set last year by “Venom” ($80.2 million), and also beats the openings of fellow R-Rated comic book movie “Logan” ($88.4 million) and Warner Bros.’ last big release, “It: Chapter Two” ($91 million).
As expected, millennial males were the top demographic on Friday for “Joker,” as CinemaScore polls were 64% male, 68% over the age of 25, and 66% under the age of 35. While the movie’s relentless violence and bleak tone were sure to turn off some moviegoers, reception has remained generally positive with a 70% Rotten Tomatoes score, a B+ from CinemaScore audience polls and a 4/5 from Postrak.
Meanwhile, several of last month’s releases are holding on well as alternatives to “Joker” for other demographics. Last weekend’s No. 1 film, Universal’s “Abominable,” is estimated to gross $12 million in its second weekend for a 10-day total of $37.8 million. That’s a solid result for this $70 million DreamWorks film, as it was co-produced and co-financed by Chinese animation studio Pearl.
Focus Features’ “Downton Abbey” will take the No. 3 spot with $8.1 million in its third weekend, while STX’s “Hustlers” will take fourth with $6.1 million in its fourth weekend. “It: Chapter Two” will complete the top five with an estimated $5.1 million in its fifth weekend, pushing it past $200 million in domestic grosses.
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