Warner Bros.’ Joker is on its way to earning $700 million at the worldwide box office, surpassing Justice League. Though its release was plagued by controversy, Joker has only flourished in theaters, setting box office records for its October debut.
Directed by Todd Phillips, Joker stars Joaquin Phoenix as a new interpretation of the titular clown. Phoenix’s Joker begins as Arthur Fleck, a downtrodden man whose miserable life leads him to don a new identity. Joker isn’t related to any of Warner Bros.’ other films based on DC Comics properties, but it does still pull some elements from the comics. The film is set in Gotham City, for instance, and certain staples of Batman stories like Arkham Asylum and Thomas Wayne both feature. Still, even with those references to a larger DC Universe, Joker isn’t really trying to be a comic book movie. And judging by the film’s box office, audiences are responding to that.
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Forbes (via CBR) is reporting that Joker will likely reach the $700 million mark this weekend, surpassing both Justice League‘s $659 million and Man of Steel‘s $668 million to become the fifth highest grossing DC Extended Universe film (which now simply means films released by WB post-Man of Steel). As of the moment, Joker lags behind 2016’s Suicide Squad, which managed to haul in roughly $747 million worldwide. Still, that isn’t unattainable for Joker, and there are weeks left to go in its theatrical run.
In addition to jumping ahead of other DCEU releases, Joker is also on its way to becoming one of the highest grossing R-rated movies of all time. Once it passes $700 million, Joker will have earned more than 2017’s It and be just behind The Matrix Reloaded, Deadpool, and Deadpool 2 – which is in the top spot with a $785 million worldwide box office.
All of this financial success for Joker is a little ironic given that it was recently revealed Warner Bros. purposefully gave the film a small budget (by superhero movie standards, anyway) because they hoped to deter Phillips from making the movie in the first place. Apparently, WB was concerned about the dark tone of Joker and rather than just flat out refuse to make it, offered Phillips only a $55 million budget, thinking he’d be crazy to try and make the movie for so little. As it turns out, Phillips was crazy enough to make Joker on that paltry budget, and his decision to do so is earning him and Warner Bros. a lot of money.
More: Why Joker Likely Won’t Hit $1 Billion (Despite Breaking Box Office Records)
Source: Forbes (via CBR)
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