Actor Angelina Jolie poses as she attends the UK premiere of "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil."
The Walt Disney Co.'s "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil" knocked "Joker" out of the No. 1 spot at the box office, but just barely.
Studios on Sunday say the film starring Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning grossed an estimated $36 million in North America and $117 million internationally in its first weekend in theatres. The first film had a much stronger domestic showing, opening to nearly $70 million domestically in 2014, and the sequel was expected to earn more stateside.
"It's not as strong as we hoped domestically, but it's a good start for October and we have a great window leading into Halloween," said Cathleen Taff, Disney's president of theatrical distribution. "Most encouraging is the fact that audiences seem to be responding very positively."
The A CinemaScore - in contrast to the mixed critical reviews - suggests that the film could have a longer life at the box office.
Slipping to second in its third week out was "Joker" from Warner Bros., at $29.2 million for the Friday-to-Sunday period, Exhibitor Relations said. It stars Joaquin Phoenix in a backstory about the rise of Batman's maniacal nemesis.
In third place was new Sony release "Zombieland: Double Tap," at $26.7 million. With a star-laden cast including Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Luke Wilson and Rosario Dawson, the zombie comedy is expected to remain strong through the month-end Halloween holiday.
In fourth was another Halloween-friendly film, United Artists' "The Addams Family," at $16.1 million. The computer-animated movie, which follows the spooky Addams family and some creepy relatives, features the voices of Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Snoop Dogg and Bette Midler. A live-action version in 1991 grossed $113.5 million in the US.
And in fifth was Paramount's "Gemini Man," starring Will Smith as a retired hitman who must face off against a younger clone of himself. It took in $8.5 million.
Rounding out the weekend's top 10 were:
"Abominable" ($3.5 million)
"Downton Abbey" ($3.1 million)
"Judy" ($2.1 million)
"Hustlers" ($2.1 million)
"IT: Chapter Two" ($1.5 million)
"Terminator: Dark Fate" opened atop the North American box office this weekend with a take of $29 million, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations said, but analysts said that figure fell far below expectations.
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"Abominable" froze out "Downton Abbey" to take the top spot in the North American box office on its first weekend in theaters, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations estimated Sunday.
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