Batman: The Killing Joke grossed $3.8 million in its two-day theatrical run on Monday and Tuesday nights, making it the biggest theatrical for Fathom Events ever. The animated feature averaged $2,396 per location across 1,325 locations on Monday night (beating Star Trek Beyond, which averaged $1,592), and brought in an addition $600,000 across 810 locations on Tuesday night.
Batman: The Killing Joke premiered at Comic-Con International: San Diego 2016 last week to a mixed reaction from fans, with some embracing the darkness of the R-rated film’s stories and others taking issue with the expanded subplot involving a relationship between Batman and Batgirl. The film returns reunite Batman: The Animated Series voice actors Kevin Conroy as Batman and Mark Hamill as the Joker.
The film is an adaptation of the 1988 DC Comics graphic novel by writer Alan Moore and artist Brian Bolland. The graphic novel is an origin story for the Joker, albeit told by an unreliable narrator in the Joker himself, and examined the twisted relationship between Batman and his nemesis. It is also notorious for its brutal treatment of both Commissioner Jim Gordon and Barbara Gordon, the latter of which is left paralyzed at the story’s end.
“It’s an exceptional result for an ‘alternate content’ special event,” said Warner Bros. distribution Chief Jeff Goldstein. Such results should naturally lead fans to wonder if future DC Animation features could find their way into theaters.
Fathom Events' bread-and-butter has been bringing live events like The Sound of Music 50th Anniversary, Finding Noah: An Adventure of Faith, and Ed Sheeran: Jumpers for Goalposts to theaters. It has also produced special television events to theaters, including the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special and Sherlock: The Abominable Bride New Year’s special.