With some sequels to popular first features released this weekend, numbers were expected to land high. As of Sunday afternoon, Disney’s Maleficent: Mistress of Evil has earned way below target, though still came in first with a domestic total of $36 million.
The first Maleficent film earned $69.4 million in its respective opening, and with $185 million spent on production alone, this sequel still has a long way to go. Worldwide earnings add up to a total of $153 million, which means its still got more than $200 million to earn before breaking even. The lower earnings may be due to the sequel fatigue that has been particularly noticeable at the box office throughout 2019, as well as the fact that this sequel comes 5 years after the first.
Joker was trailing right behind in its third weekend of release, earning $29 million. Now the film’s domestic earnings have reached $247 million and are believed to pass the $300 million mark soon, making it a clear success for Warner Brothers.
Taking third is the other notable new release this week, Zombieland: Double Tap. The R-rated horror film opened at $26.7 million, which is just over the opening numbers of the first Zombieland film from 2009. This is yet another example of a sequel with a major hiatus in between installments, but it may have worked in the film’s favor, as Zombieland is a cult classic that has been accumulating momentum over the years and signals a nostalgic return to classic horror comedy. With a production budget of only $48 million, this opening marks a win for R-rated comedies and the now hit-or-miss zombie genre.