Remember when mainstream American media tried to bury Joker? They called for the film to be banned, they comically reported every single fight that broke out at Joker screenings — as if there weren’t also grown, drunk men fighting at a showing of Disney’s The Lion King — but the Clown Prince of Crime prevailed. Fantastic word of mouth pushed the film to break one box office record after another. A couple of weeks ago, Joker became the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time beating out the likes of Deadpool and Matrix: Reloaded.
Now, after six weekends in cinemas, Joker has grossed $US 322.6 million at the North American box office and $US 694 million outside of North America bringing its global cume to an unbelievable $US 1.016 billion. This means that the Todd Phillips picture starring Joaquin Phoenix is officially the first R-rated movie in the history of cinema to join the coveted $US 1 billion club, a feat nobody would’ve thought possible 10 weeks ago.
Not only is the film the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time, it’s also ranked 43 at the global box office, irrespective of genre. Discounting inflation, Joker has made more money than each Harry Potter film except Deathly Hallows Part 2, the first two Lord of the Rings movies, as well as a bunch of Marvel Cinematic Universe features such as both the Ant-Man movies ($US 518 million and $US 623 million), the first two Iron Man movies ($US 585 million and $US 621 million), Doctor Strange ($US 676 million), both the Guardians of the Galaxy movies ($US 772 million and $US 869 million) and the first two Captain America movies ($US 370 million and $US 714 million), among others. In fact, if Joker was part of the MCU, it would be ranked 10th. And it achieved this feat with a mere $US 54 million budget and without a China release. A truly unprecedented triumph.
As far as DC films are concerned, Joker is currently the third highest-grossing of the lot. The top 10 are as follows:
- Aquaman ($1.148 billion)
- The Dark Knight Rises ($1.085 billion)
- Joker ($1.016 billion)
- The Dark Knight ($1.005 billion)
- Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ($873.6 million)
- Wonder Woman ($821.8 million)
- Suicide Squad ($746.8 million)
- Man of Steel ($668 million)
- Justice League ($657.9 million)
- Batman ($411.5 million)
Joker should be able to surpass The Dark Knight Rises within the week. However, I don’t think it’ll be able to beat Aquaman unless it gets a China release.