When it was first announced that an origin film about the Joker was set to be made by the guy who directed The Hangover Part III, I was the first in line on the internet to roll my eyes.
Not because I didn’t trust Todd Phillips or Joaquin Phoenix, it was that I didn’t trust Warner Bros. after the disaster that was Justice League, especially with a character as complex as the Clown Prince of Crime.
Alas, not only was I wrong, but I was very wrong, because, in addition to being a truly haunting and stunning film, it’s also been extremely successful at the box office. In fact, according to recent box office numbers, it’s the most successful R-rated film of all-time.
Joker earned $2.4 million on Thursday, bringing its 21-day total to $258.675 million. Presuming it doesn’t drop dead today, it’ll pass Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($259 million in 2014), The Amazing Spider-Man ($262 million in 2012) by tonight. The film had $778 million worldwide as of Wednesday, meaning a new 32.9/66.1 domestic/overseas split. And provided it maintains (or surpasses) the current split, is has now earned $785.5 million worldwide. That’ll put it right above Deadpool ($782.6 million in 2016) and Deadpool 2 ($785.05 million in 2018). So, yes, Joker is now the biggest R-rated movie of all time, sans inflation. [via Forbes]
So, what does that mean for the future of comic book movies? Well, if you’re a fan of the likes of Joker and Logan, then you’re in luck, as the sweeping success of Joker is a crescendo of R-Rated comic book films that began with the release of Deadpool in 2016.
While Warner Bros. and DC failed to catch up to Marvel Studios in terms of creating their own cinematic universe, they’ve since course-corrected and now have a bevy of options that Marvel Studios frankly doesn’t have, as Disney will likely never allow them to make an R-rated film within the MCU.
Warner Bros, on the other hand, now has endless options when it comes to R-rated films, as DC Comics has always been known for its generally darker brand of comics, especially when it comes to Batman, whose universe is ripe for standalone character-study films.
Eric is a New York City-based writer who still isn’t quite sure how he’s allowed to have this much fun for a living and will tell anyone who listens that Gotham City is canonically in New Jersey. Contact him on Twitter @eric_ital or via email email@example.com