Divisive ‘Joker’ Shatters October Box-Office Opening Record, Women Drive Two Major Hits

  • Indiewire
Bow down to “Joker.” Or at least credit Warner Bros. for scoring big on Todd Phillips’ dark, controversial showcase of the DC Comics character and Joaquin Phoenix’s attention- grabbing performance.

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,
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