This superb opening follows a five-week rollercoaster launched with an unexpected top jury prize Venice win and initial strong reviews, followed by a more divisive Toronto reaction, with a backlash to the Golden Lion taking over the narrative. Concerns about audience response to the possibly incendiary “Joker” and dicey PR appearances yielded a fierce drop in critic support. No one was quite sure what to expect.
The estimated weekend gross of $93.5 million doesn’t reach the $100-million mark that some event films reach–but those films are rarely rated R. This box office is the best ever for October, besting Marvel’s PG-13 “Venom” last year by $13 million. And with initial international openings raising the initial “Joker” overseas take to close to $250 million,