Joker Not Expected to Release in China

Joker is still climbing that box office ladder as the film dominates the cultural zeitgeist for another week. But, there are still some hurdles that the movie will have to clear in the coming weeks, include not being released in China. A new report from Deadline indicates that the film won’t see a release in the mainland due to its content and tone. With tensions running high after a couple of high-profile instances of media coming under fire for clashing with the Chinese government, it doesn’t seem out of character that the country would want to steer clear of content that might stoke those fires. This development means that Joker has been released to all offshore territories at this point. If so, this showing is still something to be proud of for Warner Bros. Even the most positive of expectations or projections couldn’t have seen this one coming.

In other sections of Deadline’s report, the outlet mentions that Joker is on pace to stow away nearly half a billion dollars in profit. For reference, that would leave the film on par with Avengers: Infinity War’s drawing power. That is fairly remarkable given Infinity War’s long-established characters being present and the hyping of a relative endgame for that phase of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. Last week, there were murmurs that Warner Bros. had purposefully saddled Joker with a smaller budget in the hopes that it may have deterred Todd Phillips from wanting to continue the project.

Now, as the movie rockets past $740 million and audiences voice their love for the film on social media, the overall October record at the box office sits in the distance. Joker has proven to be one of the strongest performers in the second half of a big year for theaters. The fact that it has racked up these gaudy totals in just a couple of weeks shows just how big of a smash that Warner Bros. has on its hands right now.

Some would say that China saw those protesters in Beirut last week with Joker paint during the unrest in the capital of Lebanon and wanted no part of those problems. Still, moments like these in recent weeks have only served to galvanize fans and ignite their desire to see the movie even more. That particular comment is a common one online where fans have talked about the issues surrounding mental health care in America and calls for reform after seeing Joker. The controversy continues on with no end in sight.

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.