'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' Tops the Weekend, but Falls Short of Expectations
This weekend saw the release of two new sequels and Disney's Maleficent: Mistress of Evil topped the chart as expected, albeit with a lighter performance than expected. However, Sony's Zombieland: Double Tap came in on the high side of expectations while WB's Joker continued its strong run and will soon top $250 million domestically. Elsewhere, Neon's Parasite, A24's The Lighthouse and Fox Searchlight's Jojo Rabbit all had strong showings in limited release.

With an estimated $36 million, Disney's Maleficent: Mistress of Evil opened atop the weekend box office, but failed to reach studio or industry expectations. The performance is also nearly half of the $69.4 million opening for the 2014 original. We saw early signs the film might struggle as noted in our weekend preview when looking at IMDb page view data, but it does appear those that did make their way to theaters to see the follow up enjoyed it, giving the film an "A" CinemaScore and it currently holds a 96% audience score on RottenTomatoes. Overall, the film played to a crowd that was 56% female and 54% were aged 25 or older, compared to 60% female for the original, which also played a little younger.

Internationally, Maleficent launched in all major markets, bringing in an estimated $117 million for a $153 million global debut. Leading the way was a $22.4 million opening in China followed by Russia ($10.7m), Mexico ($7.8m), Indonesia ($4.8m), Italy ($4.7m), Korea ($4.6m), Brazil ($4.5m), UK ($4.3m), France ($3.9m), Thailand ($3.7m), Philippines ($3.5m), Germany ($3.4m) and Spain ($3.2m).

In second is yet another strong performance from WB's Joker, dipping -48% in its third weekend in release. The film's three-day estimate comes in at $29.2 million for a domestic cume that now tops $247 million. Internationally, the film added another $77.8 million for an overseas cume that now tops $490 million and a worldwide total that now stands at $737.5 million.

Sony's Zombieland: Double Tap is the weekend's other new wide release and it delivered on the high end of industry expectations, bringing in an estimated $26.7 million for the three-day weekend. Notable in this day and age, it also debuted higher than its predecessor, outperforming the $24.7 million opening for Zombieland. Of course, given that film opened ten years ago it isn't exactly an apples-to-apples comparison. The film received a "B+" CinemaScore from opening day audiences and played to a crowd that was 57% male — which is almost the exact opposite compared to the first film — and 56% of the overall audience was aged 25+.

Internationally, Double Tap debuted in one market last weekend and is now playing in 17 overseas markets where it grossed $5 million this weekend for a cume that currently stands at $5.3 million. The UK led all markets with a $1.7 million performance this weekend followed by Australia with a $1.3 million debut. Looking ahead, the film will open in Russia, Brazil and Mexico next weekend followed by openings in France (Oct 30), Germany (Nov 7), South Korea (Nov 13), Italy (Nov 14) and Japan (Nov 22).

In its second weekend of release, United Artists Releasing's animated comedy The Addams Family grossed an estimated $16.05 million over the weekend, pushing the film's domestic cume to $56.8 million after ten days in release.

Rounding out the top five is Paramount's Gemini Man dipping -59% as it kicks off its sophomore frame with an estimated $8.5 million for a domestic cume that now stands at $36.5 million. Internationally, the film brought in an estimated $33.4 million this weekend, the bulk of which coming from a $21 million opening in China. The film's overseas cume now stands at $82.2 million for a global total reaching $118.7 million.

Outside of the top five, Focus's Downton Abbey reached a milestone recently, becoming the studio's highest grossing film ever at the domestic box office. With an estimated $3.08 million as it enters its fifth week in release, the film's domestic cume now stands at $88.6 million, besting the previous record held by 2005's Brokeback Mountain with $83 million.

Finishing just outside the top ten is Neon's release of Parasite, which is now playing in just 33 locations (+30) and brought in an estimated $1.2 million ($37,616 PTA) for a domestic cume that now stands at $1.8 million after ten days in release.

Another strong performance in limited release comes from A24's The Lighthouse, which debuted in eight locations in NY, LA, SF, Boston, and Washington D.C. with an estimated $419,764 ($52,471 PTA). The film, which stars Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe expands nationwide next weekend, expected to play in over 500 theaters.

Not too far behind it is yet another limited release in Fox Searchlight's Jojo Rabbit, which debuted this weekend in just five locations and brought in an estimated $350,000, topping the chart with a $70,000 per theater average. The film received an "A" CinemaScore and played to a crowd that was 51% female. Looking ahead, it will add eight new markets next weekend while expanding further in New York and Los Angeles bringing the screen total to between 50+ locations.

Elsewhere in limited release, National Geographic's The Cave brought in $22,100 from two theaters; Freestyle's Immortal Hero launched in 12 locations with an estimated $18,845 ($1,570 PTA); IFC's Greener Grass opened in two locations and brought in an estimated $14,133); Music Box's opened a pair of films including By the Grace of God in two theaters with an estimated $8,188 and Stuffed in one location with an estimated $1,534

Next weekend Screen Gems will release the cop thriller Black and Blue in ~2,000 theaters; STX will get into the Halloween season with Countdown in 2,600 locations and 101 Studios will go wide with The Current War: Director's Cut in an as yet undisclosed number of locations.

You can check out all of this weekend's estimated results right here and we'll be updating our charts with weekend actuals on Monday afternoon.

Discuss this story with fellow Box Office Mojo fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @boxofficemojo.