'Joker' Eyes October Opening Weekend Record
by Brad Brevet
October 3, 2019
SATURDAY AM UPDATE: Joker exploded out of the gates with an estimated $39.9 million Friday with expectations for the film now ranging anywhere from $87-95+ million for the weekend. The film received a "B+" CinemaScore from opening day audiences with the "under 35" crowd scoring it an "A-".
Internationally, the film is now in release in 73 markets and delivered an estimated $32.7 million on Friday for an overseas cume that now stands at $57.2 million since opening on Wednesday.
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: Warner Bros.'s release of Joker is off to a stellar start, bringing in an October record for Thursday night previews totaling $13.3 million. The performance tops the previous record of $10 million brought in by Venom last year before going on to open with the current October opening weekend record of $80.25 million. The film will open in an October record, 4,374 theaters beginning today and is well on its way to breaking even more records.
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: This weekend sees the debut of the latest DC Comics adaptation in Warner Bros.'s release of Joker, which has generated a slew of attention heading into release. Following its debut at the Venice Film Festival, where it won the Golden Lion for Best Film, the conversation has since turned to the film's use of violence and, in response, the New York and Los Angeles police will deploy officers to theaters screening the film this weekend. Nevertheless, the film looks as if it will break the October opening weekend record set just last year as the conversation surrounding it is sure to intensify over the weekend.
Debuting in over 4,300 locations, Joker is already the widest October opening of all-time, topping the 4,250 theaters Venom opened in last year before setting the October opening weekend record with an $80.25 million debut. On top of opening in more theaters than Venom, it will also be getting a one hour head start in terms of Thursday previews, which begin at 4PM. A look at IMDb page views is also trending more and more positively, growing as the week goes on with it pacing similarly to not only Venom, but also Logan ($88.4m opening) and pacing ahead of both Spectre ($70.4m opening) and Halloween ($76.2m opening). The studio is anticipating an opening anywhere from $70-80 million, while we see it more like $75-85+ million based on these metrics and perhaps topping $90 million.
Look for Universal's Abominable to finish in the runner-up position, dipping around -36% for a $13+ million second weekend and a domestic cume around $39 million by the end of the weekend.
Universal will also land in third place with their release of Focus's Downton Abbey, which will finish right around $75 million domestically by the end of the weekend should our forecast hold. We're expecting a -39% drop and a three-day performance around $8.75 million.
STX's Hustlers continues its strong run this weekend and will top $90 million as it enters its fourth week in release with a three-day right around $7 million.
And rounding out the top five is It: Chapter Two, which will top the $200 million domestic milestone this weekend, becoming only the third R-rated horror film to ever reach $200 million, joining its predecessor and The Exorcist.
Elsewhere, Roadside will expand the reach of Judy, which delivered a top ten performance last weekend from just 461 locations. This weekend the film expands into over 1,400 locations and we're expecting another top ten finish, though how high it climbs is tough to say. For now we're expecting a performance just over $3 million, but the "A-" CinemaScore and positive reviews could easily bump it much higher.
In limited release, Fox Searchlight will debut Lucy in the Sky starring Natalie Portman in 37 locations while Pedro Almodovar's Pain & Glory will finally make its stateside debut this weekend after already grossing over $28 million internationally.
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) - $85.0 M
- Abominable (4,248 theaters) - $13.2 M
- Downton Abbey (3,548 theaters) - $8.7 M
- Hustlers (3,030 theaters) - $7.0 M
- It: Chapter Two (3,163 theaters) - $6.0 M
- Ad Astra (2,910 theaters) - $5.1 M
- Rambo: Last Blood (2,900 theaters) - $4.4 M
- Judy (1,450 theaters) - $3.2 M
- Good Boys (1,005 theaters) - $1.2 M
- The Lion King (1,034 theaters) - $0.9 M
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