Film Box Office

Joaquin Phoenix performs in a scene from the film “Joker.”

BOX OFFICE

‘Joker’ tops weekend again, beats ‘Addams Family’

LOS ANGELES

The first weekend was no fluke: “Joker” is a hit.

The R-rated comic book villain origin story had a phenomenal second weekend at the box office, topping the charts once more over newcomers such as the animated “The Addams Family” and the Will Smith action pic “Gemini Man.”

Warner Bros. said Sunday that “Joker” added an estimated $55 million from North American theaters this weekend, bringing its domestic total to $192.7 million.

Not only are the pure grosses impressive, but “Joker” also dropped only 43 percent from its record-breaking debut.

For comic book films, which are often front-loaded and regularly see second weekend falls that are over 50 percent, it’s a notably small dip. It’s also a slightly lower drop than “Wonder Woman” and “Black Panther” — both of which had higher initial openings and went on to have long lives in theaters.

Internationally, “Joker” added $123.7 million from 79 markets, bringing its global total to $543.9 million after just 12 days in theaters.

“Joker’s” second weekend success played well alongside the counterprogramming of the kid-friendly “Addams Family,” which exceeded expectations and came in a strong second with $30.3 million.

United Artists Releasing distributed the film from MGM and BRON Creative that features the voices of Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron and Bette Midler. “The Addams Family” defied middling reviews (43 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) and benefited from a marketplace with relatively few family friendly options in theaters right now, aside from “Abominable” which is now in its third weekend.

The ambitious, star-driven “Gemini Man” was not so lucky. The visual effects-heavy Ang Lee film about an assassin on the run from a younger version of himself (both played by Smith using state of the art de-aging technology) opened in third place with only $20.5 million. Even Smith’s disastrous “After Earth” had a better debut ($27.5 million).

Reviews were overwhelmingly poor (it’s currently at 26 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) but “Gemini Man” also had the “Joker” factor to contend with, which may have contributed to the disappointing opening.

Rounding out the top five were “Abominable,” with $6.2 million, and “Downton Abbey,” with $4.9 million.

OBITUARY

Robert Forster, Oscar nominee for ‘Jackie Brown,’ dies at 78

LOS ANGELES

Robert Forster, the handsome and omnipresent character actor who got a career resurgence and Oscar nomination for playing bail bondsman Max Cherry in “Jackie Brown,” died Friday. He was 78.

Publicist Kathie Berlin said Forster died of brain cancer following a brief illness. He was at home in Los Angeles, surrounded by family, including his four children and partner Denise Grayson.

Condolences poured in Friday night on social media.

Bryan Cranston called Forster a “lovely man and a consummate actor” in a tweet. The two met on the 1980 film “Alligator” and then worked together again on the television show “Breaking Bad” and its spinoff film, “El Camino,” which launched Friday on Netflix.

“I never forgot how kind and generous he was to a young kid just starting out in Hollywood,” Cranston wrote.

His “Jackie Brown” co-star Samuel L. Jackson tweeted that Forster was “truly a class act/Actor!!”

A native of Rochester, New York, Forster quite literally stumbled into acting when in college, intending to be a lawyer, he followed a fellow female student he was trying to talk to into an auditorium where “Bye Bye Birdie” auditions were being held. He would be cast in that show, that fellow student would become his wife with whom he had three daughters, and it would start him on a new trajectory as an actor.

A fortuitous role in the 1965 Broadway production “Mrs. Dally Has a Lover” put him on the radar of Darryl Zanuck, who signed him to a studio contract. He would soon make his film debut in the 1967 John Huston film “Reflections in a Golden Eye,” which starred Marlon Brando and Elizabeth Taylor.

Forster would go on to star in Haskell Wexler’s documentary-style Chicago classic “Medium Cool” and the detective television series “Banyon.” It was an early high point that he would later say was the beginning of a “27-year slump.”

He worked consistently throughout the 1970s and 1980s in mostly forgettable B-movies — ultimately appearing in over 100 films, many out of necessity.

“I had four kids, I took any job I could get,” he said in an interview with the Chicago Tribune last year. “Every time it reached a lower level I thought I could tolerate, it dropped some more, and then some more. Near the end, I had no agent, no manager, no lawyer, no nothing. I was taking whatever fell through the cracks.”

It was Quentin Tarantino’s 1997 film “Jackie Brown” that put him back on the map. Tarantino created the role of Max Cherry with Forster in mind — the actor had unsuccessfully auditioned for a part in “Reservoir Dogs,” but the director promised not to forget him.

In an interview with Fandor last year, Forster recalled that when presented with the script for “Jackie Brown,” he told Tarantino, “I’m sure they’re not going to let you hire me.”

Tarantino replied: “I hire anybody I want.”

“And that’s when I realized I was going to get another shot at a career,” Forster said. “He gave me a career back and the last 14 years have been fabulous.”

The performance opposite Pam Grier became one of the more heartwarming Hollywood comeback stories, earning him his first and only Academy Award nomination. He ultimately lost the golden statuette to Robin Williams, who won that year for “Good Will Hunting.”

After “Jackie Brown,” he worked consistently and at a decidedly higher level than during the “slump,” appearing in films like David Lynch’s “Mulholland Drive,” “Me, Myself and Irene,” “The Descendants,” “Olympus Has Fallen,” and “What They Had,” and in television shows like “Breaking Bad” and the “Twin Peaks” revival. He said he loved trying out comedy as Tim Allen’s father in “Last Man Standing.”

Forster is survived by his four children, four grandchildren and Grayson, his partner of 16 years.

— Associated Press

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