Los Angeles: Angelina Jolie kept the crown away from Joaquin Phoenix over the weekend in one of the closest box office races in recent memory.
Final figures released Monday showed that Disney's "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil" slipped past Warner Bros.' "Joker" with $19.37 million to $19.25 million for the Friday-Sunday weekend -- or a gap of about $120,000, enough to deny "Joker" a third victory after winning its first two weekends. Most estimates during the weekend had shown the fourth weekend of "Joker" with a slight lead over Disney's second frame of "Mistress of Evil."
Even without winning the weekend, "Joker" remains a stunning success with $277.6 million domestically and a worldwide total of $849.1 million. It became the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time on Oct. 25 as moviegoers shrugged off concerns about the impact of the dark subject matter and apprehensions that its depiction of the villain could incite violence. Its holding power has been impressive, with a decline of only 34% from its third weekend.
The second consecutive box office victory for "Mistress of Evil" is a consolation for Disney, given that the movie has under-performed in the U.S. with only $66 million in its first 10 days. The international performance has been far better with more than $228 million so far -- a crucial number given the film's $180 million cost. The original "Maleficent" was a strong performer with more than $750 million in worldwide grosses.