Warner Bros' Joker is on its way to being the biggest R-rated movie ever released. The iconic clown has been breaking box office records left and right. Yesterday, Warner Bros. stated the film was the 4th highest-grossing DC movie internationally.
Joker is a few weeks into its release, and discussion is not even close to fading. Many are currently debating if the film is indeed a dark masterpiece. Joker did receive an eight-minute standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival, and some Oscar voters give it their praise. It's not universally positive, however. Its Rotten Tomatoes score is 68 percent, losing its Certified Fresh status from a little while ago. Still, even some who criticized the film state Joaquin Phoenix's portrayal of the mentally ill Arthur Fleck is captivating. The mainstream attention certainly fueled interest in the film. Joker is currently tearing up the box office, and could set a record for R-rated movies.
Joker could potentially be on its way to a worldwide gross of $900 million (via Deadline), becoming the most successful R-rated movie ever released. The film already surpassed IT, and will soon overtake The Matrix Reloaded for the 3rd spot. However, it then has to contend with Deadpool and Deadpool 2. Technically, Deadpool 2 is the highest-grossing R-rated movie, but only when counting its PG-13 cut, Once Upon a Deadpool. The latter made $47 million, putting Deadpool 2's gross at $785 million. (Without Once Upon a Deadpool, Deadpool 2's gross would be around $738 million.) The first Deadpool made $783 million. Joker has made $737.5 million. If Joker just makes about another $48 million, it will become the highest-grossing R-rated movie.
If Joker ends up with $900 million, that will be unprecedented for R-rated films. The highest-grossing movies of all time typically target large demographics, so few expect a film aimed squarely at adults to achieve such a number. Although fans shouldn't get their hopes up for a gross of $1 billion, Joker achieving $900 million would not only make it the highest-grossing R-rated film, but also the 4th most successful DC Comics film.
Love or hate the film, one cannot the deny the impact it will likely have on the comic book movie genre going forward. Joker serves as a character study, using the iconic character to tell a tragic story about a mentally ill man pushed to the side by society. As Joker continues to make money, many are probably wondering if a sequel will be made, despite the standalone nature of the film. Phoenix did say not too long ago he's open for returning to the role of Arthur Fleck. Time will tell, but for now, fans can enjoy Joker as a unique, standalone feature on one of pop culture's greatest antagonists.
Next: Joker's Ending Explained
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