Box Office: ‘Joker’ to Fend Off ‘Gemini Man,’ ‘Addams Family’

They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky, they’re all together ooky — but can “The Addams Family” give “Joker” a run for its money at the domestic box office?

MGM’s animated comedy about the notorious macabre kin is debuting in theaters this weekend alongside Paramount’s “Gemini Man,” an action thriller directed by Ang Lee that stars not one, but two Will Smiths, and CBS Films’ comedy “Jexi” with Adam DeVine. Those movies will contend with last weekend’s champ, Warner Bros.’ “The Joker,” Joaquin Phoenix’s very R-rated take on Batman’s infamous foe that launched with $96.2 million in North America.

Despite three new nationwide releases, “Joker” is expected to nab first place on box office charts again. Though comparisons are difficult since the super-villain adaptation is very different in scope than other comic-book origin stories, “Joker” should add another $42 million to $48 million in its sophomore outing. The R-rated movie, costing $55 million to produce, has been a draw overseas, raking in $152 million at the international box office for a global haul of $248 million.

“Joker” will face steepest competition from “Gemini Man” among its core audience of younger males. After a nearly 20 year gestation to the big screen, “Gemini Man” is aiming to make $24 million and $29 million from 3,600 venues. A third of those venues, roughly 1,400 locations, will accommodate the high frame rate and 3D format that Lee used to show Smith face off against a digitally recreated version of himself de-aged 25 years. Paramount and Skydance Media shelled out $138 million to invest in those hyperrealistic visuals, while Fosun and Alibaba helped finance the movie.

Lee (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” “Brokeback Mountain,” “Life of Pi”) made a similar cinematic bet with “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk,” which was also shot in 120 frames-per-second and suffered since many theaters said their projectors couldn’t screen the film at higher speeds. Lee told Variety he’s hopeful that significant number of the screens allocated for “Gemini Man” will offer the higher frame rates.

However, even audiences who are intrigued by state of the art technology might be dissuaded by tepid reviews. Though critics praised PG-13 thriller’s visuals, most criticized the unwieldy storyline with Variety’s Peter Debruge calling the movie a “high-concept misfire.” “Gemini Man” follows Smith as a hitman who is targeted by a younger clone of himself. David Benioff, one half of the “Game of Thrones” creative duo, wrote the script along with Billy Ray and Darren Lemke. The cast also includes Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen and Benedict Wong. “Gemini Man” kicked off at the international box office last weekend with $7 million and plans to expand to 54 international markets, including the United Kingdom, Russia and Mexico.

“The Addams Family” is tracking a similar start to “Gemini Man” and could earn $21 million to $27 million from 4,007 venues. The PG film follows Morticia, Gomez, Wednesday and Pugsley as the Addams family embraces 21st century life in New Jersey. The voice cast includes Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron and Chloe Grace Moretz. “The Addams Family” won’t have much competition on the kid-friendly front since Universal’s animated adventure “Abominable” has been in theaters for three weeks.

Rounding out the weekend is “Jexi,” the last theatrical release by CBS Films before it’s absorbed into CBS Corporation’s Entertainment Group as the entertainment company makes a bigger shift toward streaming with CBS All Access. The comedy, written and directed by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, is aiming for single digits around $2 million to $7 million. The comedy follows a man (DeVine) whose life changes in a major way with the help of artificial intelligence.

In the specialty space, Neon is debuting “Parasite,” a darkly comedic thriller from Bong Joon-ho. The universally acclaimed film, which won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, was selected as South Korea’s entry for best international feature at the Oscars.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • The Lighthouse, with Willem Dafoe, FICM.

    Willem Dafoe on Robert Pattinson, Choosing Roles, Acting as Adventure

    MORELIA, Mexico – Mindful of how his words could “turn into click-bait,” Willem Dafoe, in Morelia to present his latest film “The Lighthouse,” declined to comment about the looming advent of more streaming giants in the market. “It’s a complex question; we’re still forming ideas on how people see films and how films are being [...]

  • Motherless Brooklyn BTS Edward Norton

    Edward Norton Hails His 'Motherless Brooklyn' Crew for Their 'Career-Best' Work

    Edward Norton wrote, directed, produced and stars in Warner Bros.’ “Motherless Brooklyn,” but he’s quick to give credit to his behind-the-camera collaborators. Norton told Variety: “I think this is career-best work for some of these people.” The film is set in 1950s New York, and the team accomplished a lot on a budget of $26 million [...]

  • Jo Jo Rabbit Once Upon a

    Why Younger Actors Could Be Crashing the Oscar Nominations

    Tatum O’Neal was only 10 years old when she became the youngest actor to win an Oscar in 1974 for her work alongside her father, Ryan O’Neal, in “Paper Moon.”  Besides O’Neal, the only other young Oscar winners have been Anna Paquin, who at age 11 went home with the supporting actress Oscar for “The Piano” [...]

  • Marona's Fantastic Tale

    Tokyo Film Review: 'Marona's Fantastic Tale'

    “Everyone had the right to love and a bone.” That’s just one of the many canine insights served up by “Marona’s Fantastic Tale,” a dazzling expressionistic view of the world through the eyes of a stray dog who wants nothing more than those two comforts. Actually, the unassuming narrator (Lizzie Brochere) — who looks like [...]

  • Brad Pitt Once Upon a Time

    Quentin Tarantino's 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' to Be Re-Released With New Footage

    Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is heading back to the silver screen. Sony Pictures, the studio behind Tarantino’s latest feature, announced the movie will be re-released with 10 minutes of additional footage, including four new scenes. The lengthier version of “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” which already clocked in at two [...]

  • Roadside Attractions co-presidents Howard Cohen and

    How Roadside Attractions Fights to Give Indies a Theatrical Path to Success

    In January, work and life partners Howard Cohen and Eric d’Arbeloff went to war. Their 15-year-old film distribution and production company, Roadside Attractions, engaged in heated rounds of bidding for four titles playing at the Sundance Film Festival — the Cinderella story “Brittany Runs a Marathon,” the Mindy Kaling comedy “Late Night,” the political documentary [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content