Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
'Joker' Laughs Its Way to October Box Office Record
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 5 years ago on
October 7, 2019

Share

LOS ANGELES — The filmmakers and studio behind “Joker” have reason to put on a happy face. Despite concerns over its violent themes and ramped up theater security, audiences flocked to the multiplex to check out the R-rated film this weekend resulting in a record October opening.

“Putting records aside, we’re just thrilled that audiences are embracing the movie as strong as they are.” — Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros.’ president of domestic distribution
Warner Bros. said Sunday that “Joker” grossed an estimated $93.5 million in ticket sales from 4,374 screens in North America. The previous October record-holder was the Spider-Man spinoff “Venom” which opened to $80 million last year. Internationally, “Joker” earned $140.5 million from 73 markets, resulting in a stunning $234 million global debut.
“This was a much larger result at the box office than we had ever anticipated globally,” said Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros.’ president of domestic distribution. “Putting records aside, we’re just thrilled that audiences are embracing the movie as strong as they are.”

Dark Spin on Batman Villain

Since debuting at the Venice Film Festival where it won the prestigious Golden Lion last month, “Joker” has been both praised and criticized for its dark spin on the classic Batman villain played by Joaquin Phoenix. The film from director and co-writer Todd Phillips was always seen as a bit of a gamble with one of the studios’ most valuable pieces of intellectual property, hence its modest-for-a-comic-book-film $55 million budget.
But in the weeks leading up to its release, hype and uneasiness intensified beyond how audiences would react to placing this character in a realistic and unambiguously adult setting with “Taxi Driver” undertones. Responding to anxiety that the film might have the potential to inspire violence, multiple theater chains banned costumes or reaffirmed earlier policies regarding masks and authorities in numerous cities said they were stepping police patrols around theaters. Some relatives of the 2012 Aurora movie theater shooting even asked Warner Bros . to commit to gun control causes — the studio said it always has.
While some worried this would impact the box office, it did not ultimately detract audiences from turning out opening weekend; the box office surpassed industry expectations and may rise even higher when weekend actuals are reported Monday. Although the film got a B+ CinemaScore from opening night audiences, the studio is optimistic about its long-term playability.

Young Audiences Give Positive Reviews

“Sixty-six percent of the audience was under the age of 35,” Goldstein said. “That tells you that the audience will expand out with that younger group as time goes on.” The younger audience also gave the film a more favorable A- CinemaScore.
Paul Dergarabedian, the senior media analyst for box office tracker Comscore, said that the convergence of critical acclaim and controversy actually helped the film become bigger than expected at the box office.
“It’s the ultimate water-cooler movie right now,” Dergarabedian said.
He added that it was important that “Joker” was always marketed as a “very dark, R-rated film.”
“It always had an element of mystery and danger surrounding it,” Dergarabedian said. “If it were a G-rated film, controversy like this would not be a good thing.”
In the landscape of R-rated comic book films, “Joker” is nestled between “Deadpool” and its sequel, both of which opened over $125 million, and “Logan,” which launched with $88.4 million.

Holdover Movies Dominate the Top 10

“Joker” was the only new wide release this weekend, which is down from last year when both “Venom” and “A Star is Born” opened. Holdovers populated the top 10: The more family-friendly “Abominable” landed in second place with $12 million in its second weekend and “Downton Abbey” took third in its third weekend with $8 million.
With awards buzz behind it, the Judy Garland biopic “Judy,” starring Renee Zellweger, added nearly 1,000 screens this weekend and placed seventh with $4.5 million from 1,458 locations.
And in limited release, Pedro Almodóvar’s critically acclaimed “Pain and Glory” launched on four screens to a solid $160,087. Less fortunate was the Natalie Portman-led astronaut drama “Lucy in the Sky” which earned only $55,000 from 37 theaters resulting in a dismal $1,500 per screen average.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
1.”Joker,” $93.5 million ($140.5 million international).
2.”Abominable,” $12 million ($24.6 million international).
3.”Downton Abbey,” $8 million ($6.6 million international).
4.”Hustlers,” $6.3 million ($1.9 million international).
5.”It Chapter Two,” $5.4 million ($5.6 million international).
6.”Ad Astra,” $4.6 million ($7.3 million international).
7.”Judy,” $4.4 million ($1.9 million international).
8.”Rambo: Last Blood,” $3.6 million ($4.3 million international).
9.”War,” $1.5 million ($2.9 million international).
10.”Good Boys,” $900,000.
 

DON'T MISS

Willie Mays, Giants’ Legendary ‘Say Hey Kid,’ Dies at 93

DON'T MISS

Balderrama Applies for Texas Police Chief Job

DON'T MISS

California Fines Amazon Nearly $6M, Alleging Illegal Work Quotas at 2 Warehouses

DON'T MISS

Nvidia’s Stock Market Value Topped $3.3 Trillion. How It Became No. 1 in the S&P 500, by the Numbers

DON'T MISS

Two Fresnans Defrauded a Mentally Ill Man out of Millions. First Sentencing Comes Down.

DON'T MISS

California Governor Wants to Restrict Smartphone Usage in Schools

DON'T MISS

Fresno Trustees Prepare for Votes on $2.1 Billion Budget, $500M Bond Measure

DON'T MISS

Fresno Garbage Rate Hike Vote on Thursday. Where Does Council Stand?

DON'T MISS

Palestinian Supporters Hang ‘Stop the Genocide’ Banner on El Capitan in Yosemite Protest

DON'T MISS

California Business & Labor Hammer Out a Deal on Workplace Violation Lawsuits

UP NEXT

Singer Justin Timberlake Arrested and Accused of DUI on New York’s Long Island

UP NEXT

An Emotional Win for Theaters, Hollywood: ‘Inside out 2’ Scores Massive $155 Million Opening

UP NEXT

‘The Outsiders’ Wins Best Musical and ‘Stereophonic’ Best Play as Women Make Strides at Tony Awards

UP NEXT

The Chilling Reason You May Never See the New Trump Movie

UP NEXT

Tempted to Try a No-Buy Year? Here Are Tips From People Doing It

UP NEXT

Lauryn Hill, Tyla and More Will Perform at the 2024 BET Awards. Here’s What to Know About the Show

UP NEXT

From Globe Trotting to Globe Tripping: Why Psychedelic Vacations Are on Trend

UP NEXT

Tony Bennett’s Daughters Sue Their Brother Over His Handling of the Late Singer’s Assets

UP NEXT

R.E.M. Reunite at Songwriters Hall of Fame Ceremony Also Honoring Timbaland and Steely Dan

UP NEXT

Attraction Starring Disney’s First Black Princess Replaces Ride Based on Film Many Viewed as Racist

Nvidia’s Stock Market Value Topped $3.3 Trillion. How It Became No. 1 in the S&P 500, by the Numbers

11 hours ago

Two Fresnans Defrauded a Mentally Ill Man out of Millions. First Sentencing Comes Down.

12 hours ago

California Governor Wants to Restrict Smartphone Usage in Schools

12 hours ago

Fresno Trustees Prepare for Votes on $2.1 Billion Budget, $500M Bond Measure

12 hours ago

Fresno Garbage Rate Hike Vote on Thursday. Where Does Council Stand?

12 hours ago

Palestinian Supporters Hang ‘Stop the Genocide’ Banner on El Capitan in Yosemite Protest

13 hours ago

California Business & Labor Hammer Out a Deal on Workplace Violation Lawsuits

15 hours ago

How the Teamsters and a Homegrown Union Plan to Take On Amazon

15 hours ago

Colorado LGBTQ+ Club Shooter Pleads Guilty to 50 Federal Hate Crimes

15 hours ago

Boeing CEO Apologizes to 737 Max Crash Victims’ Families in Senate Hearing

15 hours ago

Willie Mays, Giants’ Legendary ‘Say Hey Kid,’ Dies at 93

Willie Mays, the electrifying “Say Hey Kid” whose singular combination of talent, drive and exuberance made him one of baseball’s greatest a...

9 hours ago

9 hours ago

Willie Mays, Giants’ Legendary ‘Say Hey Kid,’ Dies at 93

10 hours ago

Balderrama Applies for Texas Police Chief Job

11 hours ago

California Fines Amazon Nearly $6M, Alleging Illegal Work Quotas at 2 Warehouses

11 hours ago

Nvidia’s Stock Market Value Topped $3.3 Trillion. How It Became No. 1 in the S&P 500, by the Numbers

12 hours ago

Two Fresnans Defrauded a Mentally Ill Man out of Millions. First Sentencing Comes Down.

12 hours ago

California Governor Wants to Restrict Smartphone Usage in Schools

12 hours ago

Fresno Trustees Prepare for Votes on $2.1 Billion Budget, $500M Bond Measure

12 hours ago

Fresno Garbage Rate Hike Vote on Thursday. Where Does Council Stand?

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend