BOX OFFICE: “Joker” will win, “Addams Family” will overwhelm Will Smith — BOTH of him


The now-traditional Thursday night “preview” — actually just the unofficial opening night for most new movies — went to “Gemini Man” last night, which edged “Addams Family” $1.6 million to $1.25.

But read a little more into those tea leaves. The big action pic, fresh competition to “Joker,” barely nudged past a kiddie film which has limited showings because good parents put their children to bed by 9 (the “Addams” audience or 10.

That suggests “Addams Family,” an MGM-UA release of a Vancouver animation house’s handiwork, will blow up, doing perhaps 50% better than DREAMWORKS’ most recent animated release. “Abominable” opened at a little over $20, “The Addams Family” cartoon could hit $30, $29 anyway.

Reviews for “Gemini” were withering. Reviews for “Addams Family” are more divided (I was on the cusp of giving it a pass, but couldn’t go there.)

“Gemini Man” should clear $20 million. If it doesn’t, the folks releasing a “Bad Boys” sequel no one but that chunky has-been Martin Lawrence wanted, may sink into utter despair. Will Smith also has an animated film coming out. Forget “Aladdin.” That was Disney brand-name entertainment, not a “Will Smith” blockbuster. Bad time to be buying into Will.

The OTHER new release is an Adam Devine cell phone virtual assistant takes over his life comedy. “Jexi” is tasteless, not at all funny, but maybe it’ll clear $3, $3.5.

“Joker” has been setting mid-week records, earning $137 million+ in its first week. Will it hit $45 million on its second weekend? Probably.

“Downton Abbey” is still selling tickets, besting “Abominable” during the week. The projection is that Dreamworks’ little China-friendly animation will earn another $6 to $7 this weekend. That may be high. “Addams” is sucking that audience away from it.

“Downton” will be at $83 by midnight Sunday, after adding another $5 million or so.

“Ad Astra” is about to leave the top ten. “Judy” is already out the door.

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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