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Joker Has Menaced Its Way Into an October Box Office Record

Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker.
Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker.
Image: Warner Bros.

The eminently controversial clown movie (what a thing to say) Joker, directed by Todd Phillips and starring Joaquin Phoenix, has made its theatrical debut in a month not known for big openings or high budget extravaganzas. With that said, its opening weekend did exceedingly well.

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As noted by the Hollywood Reporter, Joker has debuted with $93.5 million in domestic box office earnings, setting a new record for a theatrical opening in the month of October. This is despite both the film’s controversy and the increased security measures at many theaters as a result of that controversy, which included concerns that the film’s realistic take on the Joker could spark real-life violence.

The film also did exceptionally well overseas, earning $140.5 million abroad. It also marked the best opening for Warner Bros. in two years.

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Is there any important information we can glean from this? Does it mean that controversy sells, or that the controversy was overblown, or that America is racing toward moral depravity? Honestly, I don’t think so. I think it mostly means that big superheroes and their villains sell. And if there’s one thing we already knew about film in 2019, it’s that.

Joker is out now.


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io9 Weekend Editor. Videogame writer at other places. Queer nerd girl.

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DISCUSSION

Really glad to read the film did so well. Not just because I personally loved it, but also because it was a risky movie to do and hopefully this incentives the studios to try more different things with their superhero properties.

However, on the controversy and security concerns, I do legit think it is almost more on the coverage than the film as there were aspects of it that were severaly misrepresented in some stuff I read. It also made it really confusing what the hell some people were expecting to hear from Phillips.