A profit of a half-billion dollars.
That’s how much profit the Warner Brothers — by way of DC Comics — film “Joker” is on track to make as the film heads into its fourth weekend. According to Deadline, the flick is “poised to make at least $464 million after global theatrical, TV and home entertainment windows, and it could be more.”
With a $70 million production budget and a current worldwide box office gross of more than $734 million, the Warner Brothers/Village Roadshow/Bron Studios production is on its way to becoming the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time. It’s a sweet victory for DC since it also surpasses comic book movie rival “Deadpool” from studio rival Marvel/Disney, which grossed $783 million (the sequel, “Deadpool 2″ took in a $785 million global gross but that included $47 million from a PG-13 holiday “special edition release.
Joaquin Phoenix plays the titular character in Todd Phillips’ sinister origin story of one of the most sinister villains from the Batman storyline.
The box office take is also gratifying, given the pre-release controversy and concerns about the film’s violence. Police departments across the country displayed a visible presence at local theaters when the film opened. Theater chains Regal, Landmark and AMC publicized their safety precautions in an effort to alleviate moviegoer’s anxiety.
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The movie could have made more money internationally but no release date has been announced for China — and given the recent tensions in Hong Kong, few see a release there in the offing. On China’s version of Q&A site Quora — Zhihu — one user wrote jokingly, “It can [get released] if they change the name to Happy Comedian and cut some violent scenes.”