'Joker' Will Get Last Laugh Over 'Addams Family' and 'Gemini Man'
SATURDAY AM UPDATE: The weekend's new releases are performing mostly as expected, but before we get to them we have to mention WB's Joker, which brought in an estimated $17 million on Friday, to kick off what is looking like a possible $60 million second weekend, signaling a drop that could be less than -40%. A strong performance and a clear sign this film is resonating with audiences.

As for the newcomers, UAR's The Addams Family leading the week's new titles with an estimated $9.6 million on Friday, looking to finish with a $32+ million three-day performance. The film scored a "B+" CinemaScore.

Behind it, Paramount's Gemini Man finished with an estimated $7.5 million Friday, heading toward a $20+ million three-day. The film also received a "B+" CinemaScore from opening day audiences.

Further down the list is Lionsgate's Jexi, which managed $1.14 million on Friday and is expected to finish around $3-3.5 million for the weekend. The film received a "B-" CinemaScore from opening day audiences.

You can check out all of the Friday estimates right here and we'll be back tomorrow morning with a complete look at the weekend.

FRIDAY AM UPDATE: Paramount's Gemini Man is off to a solid start, bringing in $1.6 million from Thursday previews, which is a notch higher than the $1.5 million in previews Ad Astra brought in a few weeks ago, ahead of a $19 million debut.

Not far behind it, UAR's The Addams Family brought in a hefty, $1.25 million in previews, which is quite good for an animated title. It tops the $900k brought in by both The Emoji Movie and Trolls and nearly doubles the $625k brought in by Abominable ahead of a $20.6 million debut.

We'll take a closer look at things tomorrow morning once Friday estimates come in. For now you can check out our weekend preview below.

WEEKEND PREVIEW: Last weekend saw Joker deliver the largest October opening weekend of all-time. However, the overall weekend top twelve was still down -15% compared to last year, which saw not only Venom deliver what was, at the time, the largest October opening weekend, but A Star is Born also opened with nearly $43 million, both en route to $200+ million domestic performances. At the same time, 2018 is still trailing last year's overall yearly performance by nearly -6% and while this weekend offers three new wide releases, they aren't likely to turn the tide. Paramount's Gemini Man has already failed to impress critics despite it's technological wizardry and the Lionsgate comedy Jexi is arriving virtually out of nowhere with little-to-no overall awareness. Only UAR's animated feature The Addams Family seems poised for any kind of solid breakout, timed well to play over the next couple of weeks and into Halloween, but it will be Joker once again at the top.

Ready to repeat with relative ease is WB's Joker, which we're expecting to play on par, if not a bit better than, Logan and Venom over its second weekend. Those two films dipped around -56% in their sophomore frame, but we're anticipating a drop around -53% for Joker and a $45 million three-day performance for a domestic cume topping $180 million in its first ten days of release.

Second is where we'll find the first of the weekend's new releases. MGM's animated feature The Addams Family debuts in over 4,000 locations with industry expectations anywhere from $21-27 million and the studio targeting a $25+ million launch. Our analysis has this film opening on the high end of that range with a good shot at hitting $30+ million. A look at IMDb page view ratings shows the film pacing ahead of The Emoji Movie ($24.5m opening) and well ahead of both The LEGO Ninjago Movie ($20.4m opening) and Storks ($21.3m opening). In fact, it's also outpacing both Hotel Transylvania and Hotel Transylvania 2, both of which debuted with over $40 million in September 2012 and 2015 respectively. We aren't going to go nearly that high, but these signals have us going out with a $29 million forecast and we won't be remotely surprised to see it pop even higher.

Paramount's Gemini Man is looking at a third place finish as it debuts in over 3,600 locations and while almost 40% of those locations will be screening the film in high frame rate 3D+ format, it's being reported not a single theater will screen the film as it was "meant" to be seen. Polygon.com reports only 14 U.S. theaters will screen the film in 120 frames-per-second 2K 3D, coming just shy of the intended 4K presentation. How much that will impact audience intention to see the film or even how many folks actually consider filming and screening specs an actual draw seems limited, but one thing we're seeing is this film is struggling in comparison to comp titles when looking at IMDb page views.

Paramount is anticipating a opening in the low $20 million range, but we're having a hard time even getting to $20 million with our comps. A look at films such as Edge of Tomorrow, Alita: Battle Angel, Ender's Game and even star Will Smith's After Earth, all of which debuted with $27+ million, show Gemini Man is severely lagging behind each. It also doesn't help that the $138 million production has received largely negative reviews — 28% on RottenTomatoes and 38 on Metacritic. That said, we're going with a measure of optimism and forecasting a $21 million opening, though if this one fails to top $20 million we wouldn't be shocked.

Universal's Abominable is looking at a fourth place finish and around $6-7 million for the three-day and a domestic cume nearing $50 million by the end of the weekend.

Rounding out the top five is Downton Abbey, which will add another $5 million or so to its domestic total, which will finish around $83 million by end of day Sunday.

Further down the list we come to the Lionsgate comedy Jexi, which will release in over 2,300 locations this weekend with expectations in the single digit millions. This one seems to be arriving with little-to-no attention and IMDb page view data supports that assumption as we struggled to find a single title to comp against it, including last year's Action Point, which opened with just $2.3 million from 2,032 locations.

In limited release, Neon has a pair of new titles including Bong Joon Ho's Palme d'Or winner Parasite in three locations in New York and Los Angeles as well as the zombie comedy Little Monsters starring Lupita Nyong'o, which opened in seven theaters yesterday. Lastly, Atlas will launch the romance feature High Strung Free Dance in just over 100 locations.

This weekend's forecast is directly below. This post will be updated on Friday morning with Thursday night preview results followed by Friday estimates on Saturday morning, and a complete weekend recap on Sunday morning.

  • Joker (4,374 theaters) - $45.0 M
  • The Addams Family (4,007 theaters) - $29.0 M
  • Gemini Man (3,642 theaters) - $21.0 M
  • Abominable (3,495 theaters) - $6.7 M
  • Downton Abbey (3,016 theaters) - $5.0 M
  • Hustlers (2,357 theaters) - $3.8 M
  • Jexi (2,332 theaters) - $3.5 M
  • It: Chapter Two (2,303 theaters) - $2.9 M
  • Judy (1,627 theaters) - $2.9 M
  • Ad Astra (1,678 theaters) - $2.0 M

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