Warner Bros.’ Joker will achieve $1 billion at the worldwide box office today. After a fantastic opening in October, Joker has been shattering the box office left and right. The film holds the record for the highest-grossing R-rated film globally.
It would not be a stretch to say Joker is the most discussed film of the year, second only to Avengers: Endgame. The Joaquin Phoenix-starring picture has received praise from a number of sources. At its Venice Film Festival premiere, the movie reportedly received an eight-minute standing ovation. Interestingly, there has been more of a mixed response from critics. The film’s reception is not overwhelmingly positive, but many agree Phoenix’s performance is engaging. Warner Bros. is currently running a For Your Consideration Oscar campaign. It remains to be seen if it’s nominated in any category, let alone wins any awards. Of course, the main subject here is Joker’s box office performance. Just last week Joker became the most profitable comic book movie ever made. Now, the film is about to achieve yet another milestone.
Today, Joker’s worldwide box office gross is around $998 million (via Forbes), meaning it will hit the $1 billion mark soon if it hasn’t already. This also indicates it will pass The Dark Knight’s worldwide gross likely tomorrow, something most fans didn’t see coming a year ago. Considering Joker has not opened up in China, its performance is particularly impressive.
Although Joker is certainly not the first movie to achieve $1 billion in 2019, it is the only one to surprise people. In comparison to other billion-dollar comic book movies this year, Joker received minimal marketing from its studio. In a way, marketing came in the form of pre-release controversy, which likely drove more audiences to see the film. Combined with good word-of-mouth, ties to the Batman universe, and no substantial competition, everything worked out in Joker’s favor.
Joker’s massive success paints an intriguing future for DC films. This could inspire the studio to continue to take more risks for standalone features. As for a Joker sequel, director Todd Phillips recently said he’s open to doing it if the story will be as impactful as the first. While Joker certainly works as a standalone story, many would head back to the theater to see what’s next in the life of Arthur Fleck. Love or hate Joker, there’s no denying it captivated a large of number of people, and that Phoenix’s performance had a raw quality to it.