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.
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.
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.