A small budget and outsized box office take will make Todd Phillips's Joker one of the most successful films of the year, earning as much in profit as Marvel Studios's Avengers: Infinity War, according to projections published by Deadline. Current predictions apparently have Joker earning almost $500 million in profit, currently weighing in at $464 million but even that number could grow if the international box office stays strong. The movie is heading into its fourth weekend at the box office on Friday, and while it faced little in the way of competition from a sluggish October for the first half of the month, Joker fell this past weekend against the sequels to Zombieland and Disney's live-action fairy tale Maleficent.
Per the Deadline report, Joker was made for a $70 million production budget but, despite reports that Warners had hoped to discourage the movie's production by giving it little to work with, ultimately got more than $120 in promotion and marketing once people started seeing it.
The film has turned into a huge success, in spite of -- or, more likely, in part because of -- controversy surrounding its tone and themes.
Director Todd Phillips has not been receptive to the criticisms of his film, though he said it wasn't intended to offend anyone.
"We didn't make the movie to push buttons," Phillips said during a recent interview. "I literally described to Joaquin at one point in those three months as like, 'Look at this as a way to sneak a real movie in the studio system under the guise of a comic book film'. It wasn't, 'We want to glorify this behavior.' It was literally like 'Let's make a real movie with a real budget and we'll call it f–ing Joker'. That's what it was."
He later added, "I think it's because outrage is a commodity, I think it's something that has been a commodity for a while. What's outstanding to me in this discourse in this movie is how easily the far left can sound like the far right when it suits their agenda. It's really been eye opening for me."
Joker premieres in theaters on October 4th.
Joker has made $250 million at the domestic box office. It's made over $700 million worldwide and has a shot at becoming the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time. It is already Warner Bros.'s biggest release of 2019.1comments
Joker is a grounded, R-rated origin story for Batman's arch-nemesis, the Joker. Phoenix plays Arthur Fleck, who descends into madness and emerges as the clown-faced killer known as the Joker. The film also stars Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Glenn Fleshler, Bill Camp, Shea Whigham, and Marc Maron.
Upcoming DC Films 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.