The weekend box office returns are in, and once again, Joker reigns supreme. The Todd Phillips movie starringJoaquin Phoenix as a crazy killer clown who loves to dance ended up at the top of the box office for the second week in a row. As far as new releases go, The Addams Family had a strong opening at second place. But Gemini Man, starring Will Smith and Will Smith, had trouble drawing a crowd. The real winner of the weekend, though, was Bong Joon Ho‘s Parasite, which only opened in three theaters, but hauled in the largest per-theater average of the year.
Right before Joker hit theaters, I theorized that the film would open huge and then have a drop off the following week. I was wrong – dead wrong. The dark and violent comic book movie continues to thrive at the box office, a fact that is no doubt making the folks at Warner Bros. very happy. There was always a slight risk associated with relating an R-rated Batman adjacent movie in theaters, but the risk paid off. In its second week, Joker took in $55 million, bringing its domestic total to $192.7 million. Overseas, the pic hauled in an additional $123.7 million, bringing its worldwide total to a whopping $543.9 million.
Will anything push this out of the top spot anytime soon? Hard to say. This upcoming weekend sees the release of sequels Zombieland: Double Tap andMaleficent: Mistress of Evil, but it feels as if there’s almost no buzz around either of those movies. Joker might win again, and that would be pretty amazing.
As for the new movies that opened over the weekend against Joker, results vary. The animated The Addams Family had a respectable weekend, bringing in $30.29 million per Box Office Mojo. But Gemini Man, the experimental Ang Lee action flick starring two Will Smiths, did not fare so well. It only earned $20.5 million, which doesn’t look so good against its $138 million budget. The biggest loser, though, was the comedy Jexi, with just $3.1 million. Yikes.
While Joker gets to stay at the top of the charts, the weekend’s biggest winner was Bong Joon Ho’s highly acclaimed Parasite. The film opened in limited release in New York in LA, playing in three theaters total. But that limited release netted $376,264, which via Box Office Mojo again makes it the biggest location average of the year and the 18th largest of all-time.
The top 10 films at the box office right now can be seen below.
Despite the presence of three new wide releases this weekend, Warner Brothers’ Joker had no problem holding off the competition. In fact, Joker‘s $55 million take is the best second weekend in October ever, besting the $43 million Gravity earned in its second weekend. The $55 million weekend would also place it as the fourth best weekend in October period, behind the first weekend of Joker, Venom and Halloween. After ten days, the film has nearly crossed $200 million domestic, and it has already scored $544 globally. It should also surpass the entire domestic run of Justice League by next weekend.
With around $30 million, The Addams Family easily slides in at number two this weekend, despite soft reviews 44 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and a solid B+ Cinemascore from the audience that matters those under the age of 12. I’m mostly surprised at how resilient The Addams Family has been since it debuted as a cartoon in The New Yorker in the 1950s. It was adapted into a black-and-white television series in the ’60s, a series of movies in the ’90s, and now a cartoon in 2019. A $30 million opening with a couple more weeks before Halloween to capitalize on young audiences may be enough to spawn a sequel before this iteration disappears and re-appears in another 20 years in another format.
Ang Lee’s Gemini Man won’t be getting a sequel for either the Young Will Smith or the Old Will Smith. The film cost around $150 million to make, and it opened with a very soft $20.5 million, which means it will need to put up spectacular numbers overseas if it has any chance of breaking even. With new IP, reviews are often important to motivate audiences to seek out something original, and critics doomed this one from the outset 26 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences, however, seemed to like it OK, giving it a B+ Cinemascore and an 83 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. Will Smith is obviously still a huge name, but it’s been a long time since even Smith could carry an original project 2008’s Hancock earned $227 million, although I remember that being a somewhat disappointing result at the time.
We’ll skip past all this weekend’s holdovers for now and jump straight to number nine, which is where the Adam Devine comedy Jexi opened with a disappointing $3.1 million. It’s not terribly surprising. Reviews for the film about a guy falling in love with his smart phone were terrible 15 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, and the marketing push was practically nonexistent. The film was greenlit by CBS Studios before CBS Studios announced it was shutting down, so it didn’t have much of a chance to begin with, even if it had received better reviews.
The rest of the top ten were all holdovers. Briefly: Abominable came in at number four with $7 million to bring its total to $48 million. Downton Abbey added another $5 million and it has now earned $82 million domestic and around $150 million worldwide. Hustlers closes in on $100 million after a $3.85 million weekend brings it up to $98 million and $121 million globally. Judy continues to perform well in art houses, racking up another $3.3 million to bring its total to $15 million. In its sixth week, IT: Chapter 2 has now earned $207 million after a $3.3 million weekend. Finally, Ad Astra scored $1.9 million to bring its total to $47 million.
The big story of the weekend, however, might be Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite, which played in three theaters over the weekend and earned $376,000, which gives it one of the top 20 theater average debuts of all time. In fact, every single screening on all three days of the weekend was sold out in New York.
Next weekend, Joker position at number one will likely fall to Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. In fact, it may fall to number three behind Zombieland 2: Double Tap, which to be honest, is the fall movie I’ve been most looking forward to seeing.
Paramount/Skydance Media's Ang Lee directed Gemini Manstarring Will Smith rang up $1.6M in Thursday night previews that started at 7PM from 3,000 showtimes. Also, MGM/UAR's animated feature The Addams Familyhad a great start with $1.25M at 3,000 locations that started at 4PM.
That figure is just under what The Magnificent Sevenpulled in back in September 2016 in its previews with $1.75M for a $12.7M opening day, $34.7M opening weekend and ahead of Millennium/Lionsgate's Angel Has Fallen$1.5M previews, $7.95M opening day, $21.3M opening and Ad Astra$1.5M previews, $7.1M opening day, $19M opening weekend. Among Will Smith's fresh IP titles, Gemini Manblows away 2015's crime noir Focus $900K and 2013's After Earth$1.1M though that was at a time when Thursday night previews weren't as potent as they are now.
Gemini Man watch the trailer here is expected to debut to $24M-$27M this weekend as Warner Bros./Village Roadshow/Bron Studios Jokerwhich is projected to do around $42M. Co-financed with China's Alibaba and Fosun Pictures, the latter which is distributing in China, Gemini Mancost $138M. The pic uses the 120 frames per second technology, and is ideally seen in 3D, which a third of its 3,642 theater count is accommodating. The pic follows Smith as a hitman who hunts down a younger clone of himself.
Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures
There were 8% K-12 schools out yesterday, rising to 19% today and 42% on break for Columbus Day Monday. That bodes well for Addams Familytrailer here, which is looking at a $25M-$30M start. General audiences only repped 48% of the crowd while parents and kids combined repped 52% of Thursday night's attendance per Screen Engine/Comscore's PostTrak. Previews were higher than the $850K made by Warner Bros. Smallfootlast year $6.4M opening day, $23M opening weekend as well as the $840K made by The House With a Clock in Its Walls $7.7M opening day, $26.6M opening. Critics weren't kind to the Addamsat 32% on Rotten Tomatoes, however, kids animated pics are largely deflective of the aggregator site's power over moviegoers.
'Gemini Man' Review: Are Two Will Smiths Worth The Price Of Admission In Ang Lee's Gimmicky Action Thriller?
Who's going to get hurt more potentially in ticket sales is Gemini Manwhich reviewers have slammed with a 29% RT score. Audiences gave it 3 1/2 stars on PostTrak last night. Men over 25 repped half of the crowd, followed by females over 25 25%, men under 25 14%, females under 25 11%. Big turnout last nights for Gemini Manby Hispanics 30% followed by African Americans 27%, Caucasians 26% and Asians 12%.
There's also CBS Films/Lionsgate/eOne's comedy Jexi from Bad Momsdirectors Jon Lucas and Scott Moore. That's expected to tank in the low single digits as CBS Films' final theatrical release. Previews were around $235K at 1,900 locations. Low exits at 3 stars, a 40% definite recommend and Men over 25 mostly there 47%, followed by 31% females over 25, 14% men under 25 and females under 25 at 8%.
'The Addams Family' Review: Still Creepy, Kooky, Spooky And Lots Of Altogether Ooky Fun
Warner Bros. Pictures
Jokerends its opening week with $137.7M after an $8.3M Thursday, -14%. Focus Features' Downton Abbeywas second yesterday by a distance with $905K, -11% for an estimated running total in week 3 of $77.7M. Dreamworks Animations/Pearl Studios/Universal's Abominablechalked up $640K, -52% for a running two total of $41.8M. STX's Hustlerswith $550K, -13% was in 4th place and an estimated total in week 4 of $94.1M. Roadside Attractions/LD Entertainment's Judycounted $530K, -17%, for a two week tally of $11.7M.
Charles Addams' oft-revived characters get the CG treatment from directors Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon.
A movie so bland and forgettable it hardly merits a groan from the Frankenstein-like butler called Lurch, The Addams Family strongly suggests that directors Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon deserve little credit for 2016's Sausage Party, the hit they directed for writers/producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Even an ounce of that film's unpredictable edge if not its raunchiness would be welcome here, in what is, after all, a story relying on subversion of conventional values. Decades of commercial success and a famously infectious theme song suggest some attention will be paid to this dud, but no fan of cartoonist Charles Addams will be pleased — nor will those who grew fond of his characters via the 1960s TV show or Barry Sonnenfeld's big-screen adaptations.
The film's most immediate problem is its character design, which proves that slavish imitation is not always the best path when adapting material from one medium to another. The 3D-rendered characters here do look much like Addams' original drawings — if, that is, you sculpted those drawings into plastic dolls. But those figures' shiny texture and their movement are a poor evocation of the sickly ghouls America first met in 1930s New Yorker cartoons. The most successful of the pic's designs is the one that resembles his 2D counterpart the least: Lurch, who is bulbous and hulking, not stiffly stoic as in earlier incarnations.
We meet Lurch as he's being hit by a getaway car. In the film's rushed origin-story preface, we see the wedding of Gomez and Morticia Addams voiced by Oscar Isaac and Charlize Theron, in which the nuptials revolve around an ancient ritual: Bride and groom put a lime in a coconut and drink it al— wait, what? What does a 1971 Harry Nilsson song have to do with the sacred union between a man and a woman who long to make each other unhappy for the rest of their lives? Local townspeople don't seem to like this non-sequitur, either: They show up with pitchforks and torches to chase off the creepy newlyweds, who race into the night. While seeking safety, they hit a strait-jacketed creature Lurch with their car. They realize he's an escapee from a creepy, abandoned mental hospital up on a hill — a place they instantly decide to call home.
Wait, if the mental hospital was abandoned, how were there any patients left to escape? Shut up, kid — watch your dumb cartoon.
Thirteen years later, the Addamses have two children: a chubby pyromaniac boy named Pugsley Stranger Things' Finn Wolfhard and his homicidal older sister Wednesday Chloe Grace Moretz, the only actor here whose performance rivals those in earlier Addams adaptations. Pugsley is hitting rite-of-passage age: He's supposed to perform a "sabre mazurka," a demonstration of his mastery of swordplay, and weird relatives from all over the world are coming to attend the bar mitzvah-like event.
That's a problem for the nearby town of Assimilation, a manufactured community run by design-TV celebrity Margaux Needler Allison Janney. Needler has just built a development full of cookie-cutter houses and needs to sell them immediately or go bankrupt. Somehow, she never realized that the haze-shrouded hill right outside town was home to neighbors who would totally wreck her town's vibe. When the squares and misfits finally meet, Needler must try to sell Morticia and Gomez on the kind of domestic makeover she does every week on TV. Good luck with that.
Meanwhile, Wednesday has grown intrigued by the local junior high and its rituals in which girls team up to make other girls sad. She befriends Needler's daughter Parker Eighth Grade's breakout Elsie Fisher, who might wish Bo Burnham could have written her material here as well and decides to protect the unpopular kid from her mean classmates.
That storyline has promise, but Matt Lieberman's nearly laugh-free script prefers to rehash Charles Addams' old one-liners or offer terrible updates. For instance: When Morticia uses thousands of spiders to create a temporary bridge across a chasm, she tells her guest, "We call this surfing the web"; and the disembodied hand called Thing wears a wristwatch on which an eyeball occasionally appears. Get it? It's an eyeWatch!! Which would be unfunny even if that was what Apple really called its smart-watches.
Instead of having fun with what a rebellious adolescence means in a household that's all about nonconformity, Lieberman quickly returns to a story as predictable as all those identical houses Needler is hawking. Fortunately, the conflict between townsfolk and our heroes plays out quickly, and should take even less time to forget.
Production companies: Jackal, Cinesite Distributor: United Artists Cast: Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloe Grace Moretz, Finn Wolfhard, Nick Kroll, Bette Midler, Allison Janney, Elsie Fisher Directors: Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon Screenwriter: Matt Lieberman Producers: Gail Berman, Alex Schwartz, Alison O'Brien Editors: Kevin Pavlovic, David Ian Salter Composers: Mychael Danna, Jeff Danna Casting directors: Ruth Lambert, Robert McGee
When cartoonist Charles Addams created kooky Addams family as a one-page comic in the late 1930s, the initial gag hinged on how such a morbid clan couldn’t quite comprehend a world unsettled by their ghoulish ways. Over time, the family has permeated every inch of the entertainment complex, from TV shows to movies and then more TV shows and movies, video games to a stage musical, even an incredibly popular pinball game. At its heart, however, the Addams family has always been a keen gothic metaphor for anyone who has ever felt like an outcast for embracing the macabre.
Which is why the Addams, for all their love of nasty things and affection for decidedly R-rated delights, is perfectly suited for a kid-friendly comedy about the perils of a world that doesn’t value individuality. Alas, that’s easier said than done: Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon’s animated “The Addams Family” introduces the Addams gang to a new generation by way of a retrofitted origin story that shakily attempts to hold fast to its original charms while cramming it inside decidedly modern trappings.
The film opens with Morticia Charlize Theron, Gomez Oscar Isaac, and company fleeing for darker pastures after they’re chased out of another village. But where to go? As Gomez muses, they need “somewhere horrible, somewhere corrupt,” which of course means New Jersey Charles Addams’ own home state; he’d presumably love the joke. Once there, they stumble upon a haunted and abandoned asylum at the top of a foggy mountain that comes complete with its own former-patient-turned-butler Lurch, voiced by co-director Vernon. It’s dirty and scary, weird and gross. They love it.
Despite a concise 87-minute running time, “The Addams Family” spends most of its first act meandering towards the slimmest semblance of a plot. While those pitchfork-wielding opening scenes lay out the film’s principal drama — that this altogether ooky family is just looking for a place to belong, and it soon jumps forward over a decade in time. It’s there that the film introduces Addams kids Wednesday a delightful Chloe Grace Moretz and Pugsley Finn Wolfhard with the minimum of fuss — there’s not much else but vague table setting to watch. Eventually, a family reunion to celebrate Pugsley’s transition into manhood is announced, which seems like fodder enough for some narrative high jinks involving a decidedly large and weird family.
“The Addams Family”
And still, that’s not the entire plot. Enter a wonderfully unhinged Allison Janney as the star of a nefarious home remodeling show called “Design Intervention,” which has recently intervened on an entire town, one that just so happens to be located at the foot of the mountain the Addams have lived on for the past 13 years. For a relatively short film aimed at children, “The Addams Family” is oddly plot-heavy, and its attempts to marry the home renovation subplot which is really about Wednesday with the impending family reunion which is really about Pugsley never quite works. It should, however, because buried in all that convoluted storytelling is, in fact, one coherent narrative: Janney’s Margaux wants to make over the hamlet literally called Assimilation into one homogenous hometown, and the arrival of a whole mess of nutty Addams family members threatens that. Still, it’s only during the film’s heartwarming, predictable conclusion that any of that starts to gel.
At least the wacky subplots offer enough visual pizzazz to keep younger audiences engaged, and all those vague messages about the power of being yourself in a world that doesn’t value such things are as important as ever. That’s not to say “The Addams Family” lacks some adult-skewing humor tucked inside this PG-rated movie, from a quick gag about the hand known as Thing’s foot fetish to a series of brutal attacks on Uncle Fester, voiced by an amusingly out-there Nick Kroll. But “The Addams Family” is the most kid-centric spin on the long-running franchise in years. Kids dig gross stuff, and Tiernan and Vernon know when to lavish it on Wednesday lustly biting into a rotten sandwich is 10 times more amusing than it has any right to be, as is Pugsley literally digging himself out of his own grave.
There are, however, plenty of instances in which “The Addams Family” relies on unappealing visuals. While the look and feel of the family itself is more in line with the characters that populated Addams’ original comic strips no sexy Gomez here, the juxtaposition between mostly unflattering character design and the consistently imaginative spaces they get to occupy from the family mansion itself to its sprawling grounds and even the creepy, Stepford-esque town just empty enough to look foreboding is jarring. Sure, the Addams family is built to be creepy, but when a bottomless pit offers more visual interest than a family member whose defining characteristic is a large screw through his cranium, something has gone amiss.
If nothing else, “The Addams Family” is the only current film that can boast opening credits that proclaim the casting of “Snoop Dogg as It.” You can tell he’s hip now because the “Cousin” part is gone, along with that extra “t” — although when the movie introduces It with Snoop’s own “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” it subtly mutes out any and all mentions of “pigs trying to get at you.” And yet, if the Addams family can teach us anything, it that’s the pigs will try to get at you, but it’s up to you to resist and remember the power of being kooky on your own terms.
United Artists Releasing will release “The Addams Family” in theaters on Friday, October 11.
Arriving with the attitude that, well, there always has to be something new playing in theaters, The Addams Family ends up feeling like filler. That is, of course, the 2019 animated film The Addams Family, not entirely to be confused with the 1991 film of the same name or its 1993 sequel Addams Family Values. “Not entirely”, though, are the operative words to consider, because some aspects of this animated film are more indebted to Barry Sonnenfeld’s delightfully deadpan live-action comedies than they are the Charles Addams New Yorker cartoons that first introduced the world to this murderous family next door. No matter what the inspiration, this new Addams Family has the unmistakable, unavoidable whiff of cinematic leftovers.
We first meet Gomez Addams voiced by Oscar Isaac and his bride-to-be Morticia Charlize Theron as they prepare to get married in a predictably gruesome fashion. But their wedding is beset upon by torch-wielding villagers who drive them out to the “horrible, corrupt” locale of…New Jersey. Har, har. State logo, per the film: “What are you looking at?” Ho, ho. Once there, the Addams make their home at a recently abandoned asylum for the criminally insane, eventually becoming parents to Wednesday and Pugsley. After the brief prologue, the film shifts forward 13 years of course to what appears to be the present day. In the main action, Pugsley Finn Wolfhard prepares to perform a bar mitzvah-like ritual of manhood, Wednesday Chloe Grace Moretz becomes curious about the world surrounding their fog-shrouded home, and a reality-show host Alison Janney tries in vain to force a makeover on the Addams abode.
If you’re wondering where exactly the wheels fall off in the new Addams Family, it’s right around the phrase “reality-show host”. A good deal of the first 15 or so minutes of The Addams Family is familiar without being too stodgy; the script, credited to Matt Lieberman, is full of punny wordplay and physical humor that amplifies the quirks of the twisted Addams brood and how they go about traditional family relationships in the exact opposite way that “normal” families do. And then the pesky plot kicks in, all but grinding things to a halt. For one reason or another, each of the subplots — which all feel like plotlines more apt for a small-screen take on this creepy, ooky family — fall flat.
Pugsley’s quest to complete a challenging manly task with swords is awfully reminiscent of the mamushka from the 1991 film, wherein Gomez and Fester here voiced by Nick Kroll indulge in a traditional, violent dance. Wednesday’s curiosity about the real world, represented largely by an inquisitive teenage girl with goth tendencies Elsie Fisher from Eighth Grade, feels only slightly removed from the generic desire to explore the world beyond home expressed by heroines in Disney movies like The Little Mermaid. And the stuff with Janney, giving her all, is best left ignored because of how little thought is provided her character’s sunny but malevolent machinations.
The casting, largely, is on point even if it seems to encourage comparisons to the previous actors. The characters themselves are mostly visually inspired by the work of Charles Addams. But with Isaac and Theron especially, it’s hard not to imagine them being directed to do their very best version of Raul Julia and Anjelica Huston from the 90s-era feature films where Huston looked a fair bit like the animated progenitor, though Julia did not. Isaac is a lot of fun to listen to, at least. Neither Moretz nor Wolfhard have that much to do; the only odd delight of Wednesday’s subplot is that her new friend is, like Fisher’s character in Eighth Grade, constantly vlogging and live-streaming herself. The key difference, of course, is that her character here never has a crisis of conscience about doing so.
Directors Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan last worked on the very un-family-friendly 2016 animated film Sausage Party. While The Addams Family does have plenty of slapstick-y humor to keep little kids engaged, there’s a lot of verbal byplay here — often reflected in Gomez and Morticia’s romantic banter, as well as by Kroll’s oddball performance, which calls to mind his Oh, Hello character Gil Faizon — that heavily implies a film that would much rather be for adults only. Of course, that’s not how this film can work, stacked as it is with a pablum-esque moral about being yourself and embracing your unique qualities. But it means the humor is often at war with itself.
Some elements of The Addams Family are charming enough to suggest that these characters stand the test of time. But too much of the new animated film — which, all things considered, doesn’t look nearly impressive enough to watch on a big screen compared to a streaming service in a few months’ time — is so heavily inspired by its predecessors that you’re better off watching them instead. Oscar Isaac and Charlize Theron in a new movie together seems unbeatable, but when they’re following in Raul Julia’s and Anjelica Huston’s footsteps, they and this film can’t help but lag behind.