I spent so much time worrying about the “message” of Joker and how director Todd Phillips is garbage that I was somewhat unprepared for this: Joker is a huge financial success. And I was completely unprepared for this conversation: now that Joker is a huge success, does that mean we can’t talk sh-t about the movie? If anything, the reviews of Joker coming out of the August and September film festivals were more positive about the movie, and then the general reviews happened last week and many of them made the film sound like nihilistic garbage (garbage anchored by a great performance by Joaquin Phoenix). But all of the bad reviews and bulls–t from Todd Phillips and conversations about incels and violence all helped the film become the best-ever October opening in history:
The box office debut of Joker, Todd Phillips’ latest film starring Joaquin Phoenix as one of modern history’s most famous comic-book supervillains, was no joke. Setting a new high for the month of October, the Warner Bros. film raked in $93.5 million domestically and $140.5 million overseas over the weekend for a global start of $234 million. (That’s without China, where the movie is unlikely to be released because of its bleak, nihilistic themes.)
In the U.S., the R-rated origin pic sparked widespread security concerns in the days leading up to its release on Friday, prompting cinemas across the country to ramp up security the film’s opening weekend, including an increased police presence and ID checks (an R rating means that anyone under 17 must be accompanied by a parent or adult). And some cinemas, such as AMC Theatres and Alamo Drafthouse, warned parents that Joker isn’t an ordinary Hollywood superhero movie.
So, there we are. I didn’t see the movie – I read a comprehensive, spoiler-filled review/analysis of it and that was it for me. I hope I never have to see it. But I may need to see it, because with this kind of opening and “controversy,” that means Joaquin probably will get nominated for an Oscar. And he might even be one of the “favorites” at this point in the Oscar race. Congrats, Joker-watchers. You just ensured that we’ll be seeing gritty, violent origin stories of all the comic book villains.
Photos courtesy of Warner Bros.