Warner Bros.' Joker becomes the highest-grossing R-rated movie ever released, surpassing Deadpool. The iconic clown has been doing big business internationally. Joker is on track to be as profitable as Avengers: Infinity War.
Joker is one of the most talked about films of 2019, and one of the most unique installments in the comic book movie genre. Its ties to the Batman name guaranteed success, but not many thought it would be this financially successful. Joker is the fourth highest-grossing DC film internationally, surpassing Justice League, Man of Steel, and Suicide Squad. Its box office success has not slowed considerably since its release on Oct. 4. Though, the movie's final box office gross could be hindered a bit if China decides not to release Joker. Still, even if that happens, Joker would have made an impressive amount of money for a film with a lower budget than the average comic book film. It has also set the record for R-rated films.
Joker has been setting box office records on fire, and that continues today. Joker has become the best grossing R-rated film (via Forbes), beating out Deadpool and its sequel. Deadpool's final gross was about $783 million. Deadpool 2's gross was technically $785 million. However, Deadpool 2 is a rather odd case, because this combines the film's box office performance with its PG-13 cut, Once Upon a Deadpool. Either way, Joker has achieved $785.5 million as of today, surpassing both movies.
Much of Joker's success is owed to Joaquin Phoenix's acclaimed performance as the title character. Although the film has seen something of a split between critics and the general audience, a common point of agreement is Phoenix's portrayal of the tragic Arthur Fleck, a mentally ill man pushed to the side by society. Joker is likely to keep doing well overseas, so one should expect to hear more box office news as the weeks go on.
With Joker doing exceptionally well, some may think a $1 billion final gross is likely. Although possible, fans shouldn't get their hopes up, especially if China does not release the film. Still, even if the movie achieves $900 million, that's a massive accomplishment. It would have surpassed Wonder Woman and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, something many thought impossible a few months ago. The success of Joker will be discussed for years to come. It remains to be seen if Joker will be nominated for any Academy Awards.
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