Joker's Opening Weekend Nearly Beat Dark Phoenix's Entire Box Office Run

Joker arrived in theaters this past weekend, providing a one-of-a-kind take on the iconic DC Comics villain. The film is having a pretty significant run at the box office, and has even passed some milestones set by some of the year's other comic book movies. The actual numbers for Joker's opening weekend were released on Monday, with the film grossing $96.2 million domestically and $248.4 million internationally. At the time of this writing, the film is only $4 million away from beating the entire box office run of X-Men: Dark Phoenix, which debuted in theaters this past June. The film capped off its box office run midway through August, with a worldwide gross of $252.4 million.

Given the way that Dark Phoenix was received in the box office, this news both is and isn't a significant surprise. The film had the series-worst performance in Fox's X-Men franchise and dropped to 200 screens only six weeks into its run. Still, the notion that Joker nearly made as much money in the span of four days is pretty impressive.

Joker stars Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck, a mentally-ill man who quickly felt more isolated and betrayed by those around him in 1970s Gotham City, leading him on the path to become the iconic DC Comics villain. The R-rated film was a bit of a gamble for Warner Bros. at first, but it's safe to say that it paid off.

“It was a year-long process from when we finished the script just to get the new people on board with this vision, because I pitched it to an entirely different team than made it,” director Todd Phillips revealed in a previous interview. “There were emails about: ‘You realize we sell Joker pajamas at Target.’ There were a zillion hurdles, and you just sort of had to navigate those one at a time.... At the time I would curse them in my head every day. But then I have to put it in perspective and go, ‘They’re pretty bold that they did this.’”

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Joker is in theaters now. Upcoming DC movies include Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) on February 7, 2020, Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5, 2020, The Batman on June 25, 2021, The Suicide Squad on August 6, 2021, and Aquaman 2 on December 16, 2022.