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Joker Arthur tries to put on a smile

For a movie that doesn’t occupy a pre-fabricated corner of the comic book movie stratosphere, director Todd Phillips’ Joker is doing exceedingly well for itself. That pattern is looking to continue into the foreseeable future, as the Joaquin Phoenix starring R-rated one-off is about to have another box office success for a third weekend in a row. Which isn’t exactly the best news if you happen to be rooting for Sony’s Zombieland: Double Tap to pull ahead at the box office.

It all comes down to the estimates for what this weekend will potentially bring both films in terms of box office dollars. Joker’s third weekend is expected to bring in a total of $32.5 million, which is on top of the film’s already calculated worldwide haul of roughly $611 million. In the other corner, Sony’s decade in the making follow-up to 2009’s Zombieland will allegedly see $23 million falling into its pockets; which doesn’t sound bad for a long awaited sequel, but is still a bit tame.

Admittedly, according to the estimates from Box Office Mojo, the difference between the grosses of these two films are only in the range of $9.5 million. But neither of these films is in competition for the top spot, as the projected winner of this weekend’s box office, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, is looking to sock away $42 million into Disney’s rainy day fund. Strangely enough, the distance between the top spot and Joker is estimated to be the same distance between Zombieland 2 and the second place spot.

There’s a good chance that Joker could go for four amazing weekends in a row, as next weekend’s market brings a handful of mid-level competitors that are looking to shake things up at the end of October. With police procedural Black and Blue, historical biopic The Current War, and stealthily marketed horror thriller Countdown all looking to make a mark, the new kids might cancel each other out, allowing Arthur Fleck to clown around in some more money than some folks would have ever anticipated.

Looking back at the fears some had about releasing Joker into the box office market, it’s almost crazy to think there was a time where this particular film almost felt like it’d be hurt by the public reaction to its existence. And yet, fans have flocked to DC’s gritty one-off in such droves that they’ve not only further proved the viability of R-rated comic films, but they’ve also broken box office records in the process.

As per usual, it needs to be disclaimed that these results are merely estimated at this point. Let’s not forget there was once a time that Maleficent: Mistress of Evil was going to only make around $23-$25 million in its opening weekend. So there’s a chance that, out of the blue, an extra windfall could bring Zombieland: Double Tap ahead of the competition, or make Maleficent 2 all the more elusive to capture and conquer. The race isn’t over until the accountants tally up the receipts on Monday afternoon, and the joke could be on us all if we’re not careful.

Joker, Zombieland: Double Tap, and Maleficent: Mistress of Evil are all in theaters now. And in the spirit of competition and curiousity, let us know what you’re going to see, or have already seen, this weekend in the poll below!

Which Movie Are You Planning On Seeing This Weekend?
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