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story.lead_photo.caption Joaquin Phoenix stars as Arthur Fleck in Warner Bros.’ Joker. It reclaimed the top spot at last weekend’s box office and made about $18.9 million.

NEW YORK -- Put on a happy face. Joker is No. 1 again.

Todd Phillip's R-rated comic-book hit regained the top spot at the weekend box office in its fourth week of release, narrowly besting Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. The Warner Bros.' sensation, starring Joaquin Phoenix, took in $18.9 million in ticket sales over the weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday.

That came in just above the $18.6 million haul for the Walt Disney Co.'s Maleficent sequel, which slid to second after a disappointing No. 1 debut last weekend of $36 million. Mistress of Evil, starring Angelina Jolie, is performing better overseas, where it grossed $64.3 million over the weekend.

But ticket sales have continued to surge well past expectations for Joker. With a "modest" budget of $60 million, it has been extraordinarily profitable for Warner Bros. -- although the studio, to mitigate risk, shared costs with Bron Studios and Village Roadshow Pictures.

Last week, Joker became the most successful R-rated moved ever, not accounting for inflation, in worldwide release. It has made $849 million globally, including $47.8 million internationally over the weekend. (Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ remains the R-rated domestic leader, with $370.8 million.)

At No. 3, United Artists/MGM's The Addams Family added $11.7 million in its third weekend for a cumulative $72.8 million. The picture has earned $83.8 million internationally.

In fourth place, Columbia's Zombieland: Double Tap added $11.6 million in its second weekend for a cumulative $47 million.

Rounding out the top five, STX Entertainment's Countdown opened with $9 million.

The $6.5 million horror movie stars Elizabeth Lail (You) as a nurse who downloads an app that predicts exactly when a person is going to die. It was poorly received with a C plus CinemaScore and a 27% rotten rating on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes.

Columbia's Black and Blue debuted at No. 6 with $8.3 million.

Starring Naomie Harris (Moonlight) as a rookie cop who becomes an inadvertent witness to police corruption, the $12 million film was directed by Deon Taylor (Traffik) from a script by Peter A. Dowling. It earned a 46% rotten rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

In seventh place, Paramount's Gemini Man added $4 million in its third weekend for a cumulative $43.3 million.

At No. 8, A24's The Lighthouse added 578 locations and $3.1 million in its second weekend (a 621% increase) for a cumulative $3.7 million. In ninth place, 101 Studios' The Current War: Director's Cut opened in 1,022 locations with $2.7 million.

The long-delayed historical drama premiered at the 2017 Toronto Film Festival but was shelved and sold after the shuttering of its original distributor, the Weinstein Co. It stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Thomas Edison and Michael Shannon as George Westinghouse and earned a 59% rotten rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Rounding out the top 10, Universal's animated film Abominable added $2 million in its fifth weekend for a cumulative $56.8 million.

Outside the top 10, Columbia's re-release of Once Upon a Time ...in Hollywood featuring 10 additional minutes of film (before the start of the movie and during the end credits) screened in 1,674 locations earning $550,000 over the weekend bringing the domestic cumulative to $140.4 million.

IMAX released Kanye West's gospel feature Jesus Is King in 372 locations to $850,000.

In limited release, Warner Bros. opened the Bruce Springsteen concert feature Western Stars in 537 locations to $560,000 for a cumulative $1 million including prior special event screenings. It earned a 90% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Fox Searchlight expanded Taika Waititi's Jojo Rabbit into 55 locations in its second weekend (up from five the weekend before) earning $1 million for $18,927 per screen and a cumulative $1.5 million.

Neon's Parasite added $1.8 million in its third weekend for a per-screen average of $14,107 and a cumulative $4.1 million.

Sony Pictures Classics opened Frankie in four locations to $22,941 for a per-screen average of $5,510. The studio expanded Pedro Almodovar's Pain and Glory into 117 locations (up from 67) in its fourth weekend to $430,097 for a per-screen average of $6,918 and a cumulative $1.7 million.

Atlas Distribution's free-speech docudrama No Safe Spaces, featuring Adam Carolla and Dennis Prager, notched the weekend's highest per-screen average of $45,236 at a single theater in Phoenix. The film will expand in coming weeks.

This week, Focus Features opens the bio-pic Harriet, Paramount reveals Terminator: Dark Fate, Warner Bros. debuts the crime drama Motherless Brooklyn and Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures premieres the animated film Arctic Dogs.

MovieStyle on 11/01/2019

Print Headline: Joker laughs last in box office bout with Maleficent

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