Can Maleficent 2 or Zombieland: Double Tap Take Down Joker at the Box Office?

Joker has laughed its way to the top of the box office for the past couple of weeks, with a second frame haul of $55.8 million putting it well above the competition last weekend. But there are a pair of big releases coming down the pipeline this weekend in the form of Disney’s Maleficent: Mistress of Evil and Sony’s Zombieland: Double Tap. Both sequels are expected to have solid debuts, but will both prevail over the Clown Prince of Crime?

Disney will once again find one of its 2019 releases at the top of the box office this weekend, as Maleficent: Mistress of Evil will soar above the competition with a take in the $45 million range. Angelina Jolie returns, as does Elle Fanning, in the sequel to 2014’s box office smash, which brought in $758.5 million globally and helped prompt the string of more recent Disney live-action remakes we’ve been treated to. Joachim Ronning (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) is in the director’s chair for the sequel, which co-stars Michelle Pfieffer and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Now we get to the coin flip for the weekend. Joker is expected to, once again, do quite well in its third frame, while Zombieland Double Tap is also expected to draw in a healthy number of moviegoers. Both will be dancing around the $25 million range and really, it’s difficult to give a true edge in either case for the number two spot. I’m personally, by a slight margin, giving the edge to Joker, but not confidently. In the case of Zombieland: Double Tap, we have a sequel that is coming out a full decade after the original was released in 2009.

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Often times, that can be damning, but in this case, not so much. Director Ruben Fleischer (Venom) is back, as is the core cast, comprised of Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Woody Harrellson and Abigail Breslin. So far, critics have been reasonably kind to the sequel, which boasts a 73 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Joker, meanwhile, is getting ready to cross $600 million at the worldwide box office already. The Todd Philips-directed DC Comics adaptation, which stars Joaquin Phoenix in the title role, is already Warner Bros.’ biggest hit of 2019.

Of note, Jay and Silent Bob Reboot makes its way to theaters in limited release as well, following a pair of Fathom Events dates this week. Also worth looking out for is Jojo Rabbit. The awards season hopeful from Thor: Ragnarok helmer Taika Waititi, which sees him playing an imaginary version of Adolf Hitler, is set to arrive in limited release in New York and Los Angeles this weekend, with an expansion to follow. Be sure to check out our full list of weekend box office predictions below and check back with us on Sunday for the weekend estimates. Numbers used in this report were provided by Box Office Mojo.

1 Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
2 Joker
3 Zombieland Double Tap
4 The Addams Family
5 Gemini Man
6 Abominable
7 Downton Abbey
8 Hustlers
9 Judy
10 IT Chapter Two