Disney's dark fairy tale "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil" edged out "Joker" in a fierce battle of the supervillains this weekend, taking $19.4 million in North American theatres, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations said Monday.
The film, a sequel to the 2014 live-action hit, stars Angelina Jolie as the evil sorceress of "Sleeping Beauty" fame. This time around, Michelle Pfeiffer joins the cast as a scheming Queen Ingrith.
For a second consecutive weekend it held off Warner Bros.' scarefest "Joker," starring Joaquin Phoenix, which managed $19.2 million for the Friday-to-Sunday period to finish a narrow second.
"Joker" had appeared to hold a slender lead in early box office estimates.
The film, with Phoenix incarnating Batman's notorious nemesis, has now taken approximately $850 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 $12 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 $11.8 million in its second week out, was Sony's "Zombieland: Double Tap," a comedy sequel starring Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone and Luke Wilson.
New release "Countdown" from STX films placed fifth at $8.9 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.
Rounding out the top 10 were:
"Black and Blue" ($8.4 million)
"Gemini Man" ($4.1 million)
"The Lighthouse" ($3 million)
"The Current War: Director's Cut" ($2.6 million)
"Abominable" ($2.1 million)