BOX OFFICE: “Maleficent” to dethrone “Joker?” “Zombieland 2” to clear $20, “Downton” sets a record


Apparently, PBS fans just can’t quit “Downton Abbey.”

The pre-Depression soap opera, a costume-and-wealth-bedecked period piece that opened over a month ago, just became the biggest hit in the history of Focus Features. It passed the cowboy romance “Brokeback Mountain” when it cleared the $84 million mark.

I still figure it has a shot at $100 million, maybe falling just shy of it as the picture loses screens the next two weekends.

The big picture this weekend will be Disney’s violent fairytale “Maleficent,” pitting Angelina Jolie against Michelle Pfeiffer in a tale of war, fairy genocide, chemical weapons attacks — fun for the whole family!

Mixed reviews from critics and whoever Team Rotten Tomatoes watered down their ranks with won’t hurt it (I hated it), won’t dampen the turnout. Box Office Mojo figures $42 million or so for the sequel.

“Joker” will pile on another $32 or so.


“Zombieland: Double Tap” looks to earn $23 million or so out of nostalgia. I caught a late show last night, less than half full (A lot more people were walking out of “Hustlers” at closing time, and it opened a month ago), so that guess about its take might be a little high.

Reviews for this one were on the so-so side as well. Me? Meh.

“Judy” is showing some legs, re-entering the top ten.
“The Lighthouse” isn’t opening wide enough to become a contender. Yet.

“Addams Family” continues to outpace “Abominable,” adding another $18 million this weekend. That’s an interesting sprint to watch. Dreamworks’ China panderer is over $50 million, MGM’s Canadian-animated “Addams” reboot is over $39 already and closing the gap fast.

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