Joker has done the impossible. The Joaquin Phoenix starring Todd Phillips directed R-rated comic book movie has grossed $1 billion at the worldwide box office. In doing so, Joker has become the first R-rated movie ever to achieve that feat and sets a new milestone and record for adult-rated movies. Outstandingly phenomenal.
Joker is expected to take in $6.2 million over the weekend to pass $320 million domestically. With international receipts of $680 million, that takes its total to just above the billion dollar mark. With those numbers, Joker has achieved yet another feat, becoming the most profitable comic book movie of all time, beating such heavyweights as Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
At this point, to say the movie has had an exceptional run at the box office is restating the obvious. More important at this point is the precedent it could set for films to follow. I imagine R-rated comic book films becoming a more frequent and common occurrence with this accomplishment. It’s telling that the two billion dollar movies from Warner Bros. based on DC Comics are Aquaman and Joker when a few years back, pretty much everyone would’ve expected Batman v Superman and Justice League to occupy those spots.
Despite its initial struggles and the hefty skepticism mounted towards it, Joker has defied all odds and emerged a winner. It started winning audiences through early trailers before going on to amass strong word of mouth through film festivals. All during its marketing phase, stories kept emerging of how Joker had an incredible script and was unlike anything ever seen in the comic book genre, with test screenings similarly greeted with enthusiasm.
The box office responded similarly. While Joker started off slow with a modest $93 million US opening, audiences kept coming back through October. Gradually, the movie crossed $500 million across the globe, then $700 million, $800 million and eventually $900 million before getting to this incredibly monumental milestone. To everyone involved in the film’s making, a heartiest congratulations (not that they’d be able to hear me but still).
Joker is still running in theaters now. Catch it while you still can.