Los Angeles, Oct 14 (AP/UNB) — The first weekend was no fluke: "Joker" is a hit.
The R-rated comic book villain origin story had a phenomenal second weekend at the box office, topping the charts once more over newcomers such as the animated "The Addams Family" and the Will Smith action pic "Gemini Man."
Warner Bros. said Sunday that "Joker" added an estimated $55 million from North American theaters this weekend, bringing its domestic total to $192.7 million.
Not only are the pure grosses impressive, but "Joker" also dropped only 43% from its record-breaking debut.
For comic book films, which are often front-loaded and regularly see second weekend falls that are over 50%, it's a notably small dip. It's also a slightly lower drop than "Wonder Woman" and "Black Panther" — both of which had higher initial openings and went on to have long lives in theaters.
"These are incredible numbers and really reflect how interested and excited people were," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Comscore.
The film had a rollercoaster ride to release, with highs like winning the top prize at the Venice Film Festival, and lows when concerns about the film inciting violence made headlines and prompted increased security at many theaters across the country. But audiences have spoken with their dollars and "were not going to be deterred," Dergarabedian said.
"It shows that content wins. A great movie will rise up above all the noise over whatever controversy or security concerns there were," he added. "You're totally left out of the water cooler conversation if you haven't seen 'Joker.'"
Internationally, "Joker" added $123.7 million from 79 markets, bringing its global total to $543.9 million after just 12 days in theaters.
"Joker's" second weekend success played well alongside the counterprogramming of the kid-friendly "Addams Family," which exceeded expectations and came in a strong second with $30.3 million.
United Artists Releasing distributed the film from MGM and BRON Creative that features the voices of Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron and Bette Midler. "The Addams Family" defied middling reviews (43% on Rotten Tomatoes) and benefited from a marketplace with relatively few family friendly options in theaters right now, aside from "Abominable" which is now in its third weekend.
The ambitious, star-driven "Gemini Man" was not so lucky. The visual effects-heavy Ang Lee film about an assassin on the run from a younger version of himself (both played by Smith using state of the art de-aging technology) opened in third place with only $20.5 million. Even Smith's disastrous "After Earth" had a better debut ($27.5 million).
Reviews were overwhelmingly poor (it's currently at 26% on Rotten Tomatoes) but "Gemini Man" also had the "Joker" factor to contend with, which may have contributed to the disappointing opening, according to Dergarabedian.
"Gemini Man" was not a cheap endeavor either. The film from Paramount and Skydance cost a reported $140 million to make after rebates and will have a difficult time breaking even.
Rounding out the top five were "Abominable," with $6.2 million, and "Downton Abbey," with $4.9 million.
In limited release, Bong Joon-Ho's "Parasite" had an extraordinary weekend, earning $376,264 from only 3 locations. Its $125,421 per theater average is a record for 2019.
"It's amazing how well ("Parasite") did. It's one of the biggest stories of the weekend," Dergarabedian said. "That per theater average means that those movie theaters were full. The demand far outweighed the supply."
Neon is distributing the class-conscious Korean thriller, which won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year and is already a massive hit internationally, with over $70.9 million from South Korea alone. With near-unanimous rave reviews, "Parasite" is also expected to be an awards contender and will be expanding in North America in the coming weeks.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
1."Joker," $55 million ($123.7 million international).
2."The Addams Family," $30.3 million.
3."Gemini Man," $20.5 million ($31.1 million international).
4."Abominable," $6.2 million ($15 million international).
5."Downton Abbey," $4.9 million ($4.1 million international).
6."Hustlers," $3.9 million ($3.9 million international).
7. "Judy," $3.3 million ($1.6 million international).
8."It: Chapter Two," $3.2 million ($2.3 million international).
9."Jexi," $3.1 million.
10."Ad Astra," $1.9 million ($2.9 million international).
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to Comscore:
1. "Joker," $123.7 million.
2. "The Captain," $33.4 million.
3. "Gemini Man," $31.1 million.
4. "My People, My Country," $23 million.
5. "Abominable," $15 million.
6. "The Climbers," $11 million.
7. "Downton Abbey," $4.1 million.
8. "Hustlers," $3.9 million.
9. "The Most Ordinary Romance," $3.7 million.
10. "The Angry Birds Movie 2," $3 million.
Beijing, Oct. 11 (Xinhua/UNB) -- "Summer Detective," an award-winning Chinese rural comedy film that infuses dark humor with suspense and adventure, is set for theatrical release on the Chinese mainland on Nov. 29, according to the movie's official Weibo account.
Set on the North China Plain, it tells the story of two men on the hunt for a runaway driver responsible for a traffic accident.
Directed and written by Xu Lei, "Summer Detective" won the FIRST 2019 Best Cinematic Script award.
Held annually in Xining, northwest China, FIRST is an international film festival committed to the discovery and promotion of emerging filmmakers and their early works.
Beijing, Oct. 9 (Xinhua/UNB) -- "They Shall Not Grow Old," a documentary about World War I directed by Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson, will hit Chinese mainland theaters on Nov. 11.
The film will be screened by the Nationwide Alliance of Arthouse Cinemas in its member theaters to commemorate the 101st anniversary of the end of the war, the alliance announced on its official Weibo account Wednesday.
The film, which features extensive never-before-seen footage restored with modern technologies, was put on general release in the UK on Nov. 9, 2018.
It has a current score of 9 out of 10 points on Chinese film rating site Douban.
Los Angeles, Oct 9 (AP/UNB) — Clint Eastwood's film "Richard Jewell" is having its world premiere at the AFI Fest in Los Angeles in November.
The American Film Institute announced Tuesday that the film had been added to a lineup for its annual film festival.
Eastwood directed the film, written by Billy Ray, about the true story of the security guard who went from hero to suspect after the 1996 Atlanta Olympic bombing that killed one woman. Paul Walter Hauser plays the title character. Sam Rockwell, Kathy Bates and Jon Hamm co-star.
"Richard Jewell," a Warner Bros. release, will open in theaters on Dec. 13.
The 2019 AFI Fest will open with the premiere of "Queen & Slim" on Nov. 14 and close with "The Banker" on Nov. 21.
Beijing, Oct. 9 (Xinhua/UNB) -- Patriotic films dominated Chinese theaters during the National Day holiday and generated a record 5 billion yuan (about 708 million U.S. dollars) of box office revenue.
China saw a total of 135 million moviegoers from Sept. 30 to Oct. 7, with three key movies, namely "My People, My Country," "The Captain" and "The Climbers," raking in 2.22 billion yuan, 1.98 billion yuan and 823 million yuan, respectively, figures from the China Movie Data Information Network showed Tuesday.
The trio of patriotic films' box office success indicates audiences' recognition of the filmmakers' innovative and enterprising spirit in artistic creation. Also, the national feeling displayed in the movies echoes the rising patriotic passion among the Chinese people, said Sun Xianghui, director of the China Film Art Research Center.
A seven-part epic anthology by seven directors led by Chen Kaige, "My People, My Country," has become the top-grossing film in terms of audience satisfaction among all the domestic films ever surveyed, according to the China Film Archive.
The film recalls seven important historical moments in China over the past seven decades, ranging from the founding of the PRC in 1949, China's successful test of its first atomic bomb, the return of Hong Kong to the motherland in 1997, the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games to the Shenzhou 11 manned mission crew members' safe returning to Earth in 2016.
"My People, My Country" earned a record 91 points out of a total of 100 in the latest China film audience satisfaction survey covering the three Chinese films that premiered around Oct. 1, the National Day.
It ranked the first in terms of audience satisfaction among all the 267 domestic films covered since the survey was launched in early 2015, according to the archive.
Co-conducted by the China Film Art Research Center, the China film audience satisfaction survey is a film evaluation system independent of the China film box office.
The survey adopts methods of on-site sampling surveys at theaters, online surveys of film industry workers and experts and big data analysis to comprehensively evaluate domestic films from the perspectives of screen depiction, ideological content and film popularity.
"The Captain," a cinematic portrayal of a miraculous emergency landing of the Sichuan Airlines flight 3U8633 in May 2018, took the sixth place on the audience satisfaction chart covering all the domestic films ever surveyed by scoring 87.1 points, according to the archive.
"The Climbers," which dramatizes the real-life expedition of Chinese mountaineers ascending Mount Qomolangma in 1960 and 1975, came the 12th with 85.4 points.
The overall audience satisfaction with Chinese films screened during the just-concluded National Day holiday reached 88.6 points, the highest ever recorded by the survey, which has so far covered 31 seasonal and holiday screening periods, the archive said.
By putting the spotlight on ordinary people, "My People, My Country" adopts a much different approach for history telling from previous films of the same genre.
It stars Huang Bo as an engineer who manages to make an electric flagpole for the PRC's founding ceremony on Oct. 1, 1949, Ge You as a Beijing taxi driver who gets a ticket to the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games but offers it to a boy who lost his father in a deadly earthquake that year and Zhang Yi as an unnamed researcher who contributes to China's nuclear science research.
Through examining the seemingly distant yet close ties between individuals and the country featuring the historical, classic moments over the past 70 years, the film aims to awaken the "common memories" of Chinese people around the world.
"Either based on real-life events or inspired by historical moments, the three films are works that come in step with the pulse of the times with warm feelings," said Li Qian, a Beijing-based screenwriter.
Depicting legendary moments from the angles of the ordinary makes "My People, My Country" a patriotic film that is easy for viewers to resonate with, she added.
Foreseeing further potential for the patriotic film trio to continue their market success in the days to come, the China Film Archive commended in a statement their achievements in broadening the genre of and lifting the popularity of patriotic films.