On a scary weekend ‘Joker’ gets the last laugh

Warner Bros.’ “Joker” won a battle of the supervillains this weekend, selling an estimated $18.9 million in tickets to edge out “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” and regain the top spot in North American theaters, an industry group reported Sunday.

The Joaquin Phoenix scarefest slipped from last weekend’s take of $29.2 million for the Friday-to-Sunday period, but still bested the $18.5 million taken in by “Maleficent,” a dark fantasy from Disney starring Angelina Jolie.

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“Joker,” with Phoenix incarnating Batman’s notorious nemesis, accomplished the rare feat of returning to No. 1 in its fourth week out. It has now taken in an impressive $849.1 million globally, becoming the most successful R- rated movie in history, according to Variety.

With Halloween only days away, scary movies did well overall.

In third spot was “The Addams Family” from United Artists, at $11.7 million. The computer animation, following the spooky Addams family and some creepy relatives, features the voices of Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Snoop Dogg and Bette Midler.

In fourth, at $11.6 million in its second week out, was Sony’s “Zombieland: Double Tap,” a comedy starring Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone and Luke Wilson.

New release “Countdown” from STX films placed fifth at $9 million. The low- budget horror film tells the tale of a nurse (Elizabeth Lail) who finds an app that predicts exactly when people will die — and learns her own death is only days away.

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