Joker is on its way to becoming the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time. The movie is currently in its third week, earning $735 million at the box office. If it continues its impressive run, it would surpass the $785 million that Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool 2 earned worldwide.
On its third weekend, Joker has managed to earn $29.2 million domestically. This brings the total to over $247 million in the United States alone. The movie continues to hit big in the overseas market. It has earned another $77 million over the weekend. It now has a total of $490 million internationally. It was topping the U.S. box office in the first two weeks of its release but it was toppled by the release of Disney’s Maleficent: Mistress of Evil starring Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning.
With its current box office earnings, Joker has also become the second-biggest September/October release of all time. It has exceeded the $723 million earned by the 2013 movie, Gravity. It stands behind Venom which earned a total of $854 million.
The movie, directed by Todd Philips, centers on the origins of one of Batman’s adversaries. It’s an original and standalone story that digs deep into the troubled and forsaken Arthur Fleck, and how he became one of the most iconic characters ever.
At the film’s premiere at the Venice Film Festival, Joker received an astounding eight-minute standing ovation from the audience. The movie went on to win the biggest prize of the festival, the Golden Lion for Best Film.
“Joaquin Phoenix is astonishing as a mentally ill geek who becomes the killer-clown Joker in Todd Phillips’ neo-Taxi Driver knockout: the rare comic-book movie that expresses what’s happening in the real world,” said Variety film critic Owen Glieberman.
Before its release, there were controversies surrounding the movie. Given the prevalence of mass shootings in the United States, some critics of the films thought that the violence depicted in the film would not be appropriate and it would glorify extreme violence. Some were against the film’s release because it might trigger those with fragile mental states to copy the Joker and his fall into lunacy.
An example of this was an open letter by the families of the victims of the Aurora, Colorado shooting addressed to Warner Bros. In the letter, the families spoke about their concerns regarding the film. In 2012, a gunman killed 12 and injured 70 people during a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises.
The criticisms surrounding the film did not impede the film’s release in 4,300 theatres across North America last October 4. The people behind the movie have said that it has nothing to do with the ongoing debate about gun control in the United States.
Despite earning mixed reviews from critics and the controversies surrounding it before its release, there has been some Oscar buzz surrounding Joker, most especially with Joaquin Phoenix’s portrayal of the title character. Insiders are saying that it seems like Phoenix’s is a shoo-in nominee for the Best Actor category.