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'Terminator' tops 'Joker' in battle for N.American box office

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Los Angeles (AFP)

"Terminator: Dark Fate" opened atop the North American box office this weekend with an estimated take of $29 million, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations said Sunday, but analysts said that figure fell far below expectations.

After all, the sixth and latest installment in the franchise -- reuniting stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton with series creator James Cameron -- cost $185 million to make.

The Paramount film has Sarah Connor (Hamilton) fighting to protect a young girl from a deadly Terminator arrived from the future.

The film may have been hurt by head-to-head competition with dark thriller "Joker," which in its fifth week took in $13.9 million for the second spot in the Friday-to-Sunday period. Joaquin Phoenix plays Batman's notorious nemesis in the Warner Bros. film.

In third place was Disney's "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil" at $12.2 million. The film once again stars Angelina Jolie playing the evil sorceress, and adds Michelle Pfeiffer as the scheming Queen Ingrith.

New biopic "Harriet" -- the story of Harriet Tubman's escape from slavery and work to help free other slaves -- surprised analysts with its fourth-place finish, earning $12 million.

It was a strong showing for a historical drama. The film has earned a rare A+ CinemaScore rating from audiences, and British star Cynthia Erivo has earned strong reviews for her performance in the title role.

In fifth was United Artists' computer-animated "The Addams Family," at $8.5 million. The funny/spooky film features the voices of Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Snoop Dogg and Bette Midler.

Rounding out the top 10 were:

"Zombieland: Double Tap" ($7.4 million)

"Countdown" ($5.9 million)

"Black and Blue" ($4.1 million)

"Motherless Brooklyn" ($3.7 million)

"Arctic Dogs" ($3.1 million)

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