Roundup: "Joker" tops North American box office for second-straight weekend

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LOS ANGELES, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) -- Warner Bros.' thriller film "Joker" topped the North American box office for a second-straight weekend with 55 million U.S. dollars, while two films backed by Chinese companies stepped into the top five this weekend.

Based on DC Comics characters, "Joker" is directed by Todd Phillips and stars Joaquin Phoenix in the lead role.

The film follows the devolution of Arthur Fleck, a mentally ill failed stand-up comedian who turns into the killer-clown Joker. The film has been a subject of significant controversy in the United States since it premiered at the Venice and Toronto film festivals earlier this year.

"Joker" has made 192.72 million dollars in North America for a global total of 543.9 million dollars, according to studio figures collected by measurement firm Comscore.

A newcomer, animated comedy "The Addams Family", opened with a better-than-expected 30.29 million dollars in second place. The film was handled in North America by MGM's United Artists Releasing.

The film, directed by Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan, is based on the comics of the same name by Charles Addams. It features a voice cast including Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloe Grace Moretz, Bette Midler and Allison Janney.

"The Addams Family" received a modest "B+" rating from moviegoers on CinemaScore.

Another newcomer, three-time Oscar award-winning filmmaker Ang Lee's action film "Gemini Man", opened in third at weekend box office with 20.5 million U.S. dollars in its debut weekend in North America.

Directed by Lee and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Don Granger, the VFX-heavy film starring Will Smith follows Henry Brogan, an aging government assassin, who is suddenly targeted and pursued by a mysterious young operative that seemingly can predict his every move.

Lee won the Oscar award for best director twice, in 2013 for "Life of Pi" and in 2006 for "Brokeback Mountain." The martial arts film "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" directed by Lee won the Oscar for best foreign language film in 2001.

"Gemini Man" is distributed by Paramount Pictures in North America. It was produced by Skydance, in association with China's Fosun Pictures. Fosun Pictures and Alibaba Pictures are the co-financiers of the film.

The film also received a "B+" rating from moviegoers on CinemaScore.

A U.S-China co-production, "Abominable," came in fourth place in its third weekend with 6.17 million dollars, pushing its North American cume to 47.97 million dollars through Sunday.

The animated family film is the co-production between the California-based DreamWorks Animation, a subsidiary of Universal Pictures, and the Shanghai-based Pearl Studios, formerly known as Oriental DreamWorks. It's released by Universal Pictures in North America.

Written and directed by Jill Culton and co-directed by Todd Wilderman, the film stars the voices of Chloe Bennet, Albert Tsai, Tenzing Norgay Trainor, Eddie Izzard, Sarah Paulson, Tsai Chin and Michelle Wong.

The animated adventure follows a Chinese teenage girl who encounters a Yeti on the rooftop of her Shanghai apartment building and embarks on an epic quest to reunite the magical creature with his family at the highest point on Earth, the majestic Himalayas.

Focus Features and Carnival Films' "Downton Abbey" finished fifth with 4.9 million dollars in its fourth weekend for a North American total of 82.68 million dollars.

Directed by Michael Engler and starring the original cast, the film is a big screen adaptation of the British historical period drama television series of the same name.

The film follows the lives of the Crawley family and their intrepid staff preparing for the most important moment of their lives. A royal visit from the King and Queen of England will unleash scandal, romance and intrigue that will leave the future of Downton hanging in the balance. Enditem

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