After earning rave reviews (and the Golden Lion Award) coming out of the Venice Film Festival, and spending the past week or so embroiled in controversy due to concerns over its portrayal of violence, Warner Bros. and DC Films Joker arrived in cinemas this weekend, with the Joaquin Phoenix-headlined crime drama proving to be a smash hit success at the box office.
Domestically, Joker delivered a $93.5 million opening weekend, smashing the previous October weekend of $80.25 million set by Venom last year, and falling just short of the $93.8 million North American opening of 2017’s Justice League (a film that cost around six times Joker’s $55 million budget).
Joker also broke Venom’s October records for both international and global openings, with a further $140.5 million overseas for a global total of $234 million. That’s a huge win for Warner Bros. and DC, who are riding high after the monster box office success of last year’s Aquaman and seem to have turned a corner critically and commercially following the DC Extended Universe’s rocky start and the misfire that was Justice League.
Joker centres around the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone story not seen before on the big screen. The exploration of Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix), a man disregarded by society, is not only a gritty character study but also a broader cautionary tale.
Joker is set for release on October 4th 2019 and stars Joaquin Phoenix (The Sisters Brothers), Robert De Niro (Goodfellas), Zazie Beetz (Deadpool 2), Bill Camp (Red Sparrow), Frances Conroy (American Horror Story), Brett Cullen (Narcos), Glenn Fleshler (Billions), Douglas Hodge (Penny Dreadful), Marc Maron (GLOW), Josh Pais (Motherless Brooklyn), Shea Whigham (Kong: Skull Island), Douglas Hodge (Robin Hood) and Dante Pereira-Olson (You Were Never Really Here).