Warner Bros.' Joker has laughed its way past The Dark Knight at the global box office. The Joaquin Phoenix-starring film continues to be in the spotlight over six weeks after its release. Recently, the film climbed past $1 billion worldwide.
Very few could have predicted a year ago how massive Joker would be. The film is based on a comic book property, true, but it was marketed much differently. It was marketed not as a Batman spinoff or prequel, but an adult thriller showing a new take on the iconic antagonist. Everything appears to be paying off financially, and somewhat critically. On the financial front, Joker has broken box office records, including becoming the highest-grossing R-rated movie worldwide. Critically, the film has seen something of a polarizing response. Warner Bros. is currently running an Oscar campaign for the film. It remains to be seen if it will take home any Academy Awards. In the meantime, the film continues to do impressively at the box office, even surpassing perhaps the most popular Batman film ever released.
According to Box Office Mojo, Joker has surpassed The Dark Knight at the worldwide box office by over $10 million. Joker's box office gross is reportedly at $1,018 billion, while The Dark Knight sits at under $1,005 billion. With the updated statistic, Joker is the highest-grossing film featuring the iconic clown. To laugh past The Dark Knight Rises, Joker would need to make around $63 million more. If Joker can achieve that, it will be the highest-grossing Batman-related movie worldwide.
To some, Joker surpassing The Dark Knight may seem very surprising. After all, The Dark Knight was the biggest movie of 2008. Critics and fans praised Christopher Nolan's direction, as well as the cast. The late Heath Ledger's performance as the Joker continues to be discussed today. It would not be a stretch to say The Dark Knight forever left an impact on comic book movies. So, it may seem shocking that Joker, a film that does not star Batman (although it does feature a young Bruce Wayne), would end up surpassing The Dark Knight. One thing to keep in mind is that the internet has exploded since 2008, with word-of-mouth reaching many people faster than ever. Pre-release controversy also certainly fueled interest in Joker. These things and more likely helped Joker reach its many milestones.
Joker has a bit of a long way to go before reaching The Dark Knight Rises. Even if it doesn't, Joker making it into the top 50 highest-grossing films is impressive, even becoming the most profitable comic book movie of all time. Although Joker's theatrical run should be coming to a close soon, discussion on the film will continue for many years to come.
Source: Box Office Mojo