The lead up to the release of the animated film Batman: The Killing Joke from acclaimed comic book franchise producer/director Bruce Timm (Batman: The Animated Series) has been the source of decided anticipation. Given the original book's legacy as one of the defining Batman stories in the character's entire history on the page, fans of the original one-shot graphic novel of the same name written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Brian Bolland from 1988 have been understandably waiting with bated breath for the production's final release.
In the wake of the premiere screening of the film at the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con last week, some viewers have had a few questions regarding the creative embellishments made by writer Brian Azzarello in adapting the original one-shot graphic novel into a feature length, R-rated spectacle. It's understandable why some fans took umbrage with the reimagined depiction of Barabara Gordon/Batgirl, though that apparently didn't stop general movie goers from flocking to theaters in droves to see the new movie anyway during its exclusive two-night run at the box office.
Timm's film generated a grand total of $3.175 million at the domestic box office yesterday. Debuting in 1,325 theaters across the country, Batman: The Killing Joke is expected to continue generating revenue in ticket sales from today's screenings as well as those held overseas, landing it the #3 spot at the U.S. box office on Monday behind Star Trek Beyond (which debuted atop the domestic box office this past weekend) and The Secret Life of Pets.
Despite the controversy surrounding the already-contested content of Moore and Bolland's original graphic novel of 1988, viewers don't appear to be showing any signs of not wanting to see Batman: The Killing Joke in theaters, making it into a veritable contender for theater space and attention as any other Thursday night premiere screenings of other wide releases. The fact that Timm's new movie is performing as well as it is despite the preemptive backlash from some fans is surprising, and might yet result in further revenue generated by retail sales of the home video release.
Moore and Bolland's original comic book story served to inspire countless iterations of the Batman character on the silver screen, and Batman: The Killing Joke might be the ultimate interpretation of that story on film, for better or for worse. Die-hard fans of the original DC one-shot may still come away disappointed with the script provided by Azzarello, but general audiences already appear to be satisfied with the production in terms of box office receipts alone.
Batman: The Killing Joke is now available for viewing in Digital HD and arrives on Blu-ray/DVD on August 2nd, 2016.
Source: Box Office Mojo