Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix continue to outpace the competition in the North American box office as Joker enters its second weekend, Variety reports. Early estimates are projecting $50 million at 4,374 theaters nationwide. This comes after a record-breaking opening weekend, despite concerns of violence causing the film to be pulled from several theatrical chains.
The news is less optimistic for the new Ang Lee and Will Smith joint, Gemini Man, which pits Smith against a fully rendered CGI clone of his younger self. Gemini Man is coming in significantly under expectations with $19 million projected at 3,642 theaters nationwide.
In our review, GameSpot’s Chris Hayner called Gemini Man bland, and lacking in depth and development for its characters. “At the end of the day, though, it’s the story and forgettable characters that keep Gemini Man from being something special,” Hayner wrote. “Lee knew what he was making with Gemini Man, and it shows. It’s a movie-length technology sizzle reel. This is a film meant to show audiences just how far the medium has come. From filming at 120 FPS in 4K, to digitally building a clone of the movie’s star to make them fight in a series of over-the-top action sequences, there’s a lot to marvel at in Gemini Man. But the visuals can also border on uncanny, and Gemini Man just doesn’t have the story to back that action up.”
Meanwhile, GameSpot’s Mike Rougeau called Joker “a new, complex version of a familiar character that we’ve never seen before,” and “the dark anti-hero origin story that comic book movies deserve.”