There's only one major superhero movie left on the docket for the year — but it doesn't actually feature a hero, but a villain instead — and it might be one of the most anticipated films of the fall. Early box office estimates are predicting Todd Phillips and Joakim Phoenix's Joker is on track to surpass some of DC Comics and Warner Bros. Pictures' latest hits.
According to a report from Box Office Pro, Joker is currently tracking to range between $60 million to $90 million domestically in its opening weekend, currently pegged to make about $77 million in its three-day weekend. This puts Joker (2019) above both Aquaman AND Shazam!, which made $67.8 million and $53.5 million in their opening weekends respectively.
It seems like expectations for Joker are steadily rising, as the box office tracking comes attached with an impressive number. There's also a lot of awards buzz surrounding the film, with the film set to premiere at both the Venice Film Festival later this month and the Toronto International Film Festival. TIFF artistic director Cameron Bailey praised the film for its approach to the comic book genre.
“First of all it’s terrific. So it should play on our largest stage,” Bailey told the Toronto Sun. “But it’s a really original take on comic book movies and on the Joker character in particular. It’s not based on an existing story, it has one of the greatest actors in modern cinema, Joaquin Phoenix, in the lead, and Robert De Niro is in it as well, one of the best actors that has ever lived.”
“It’s set in the late ’70s, early ’80s and it feels like it was made then. It’s gritty in its look,” Bailey said. “It has references to Martin Scorsese’s filmmaking and it feels like a cinematic achievement on a high level. Although it’s working with very populist material, it has great ambition. That’s why it’s a Gala.”
Producer Michael Uslan also praised the subject matter during an appearance at Germany’s CCXP Cologne convention.
“It’s maybe more like a Martin Scorsese, low-budget film noir crime drama, but I have all the faith in the world in Todd, the brilliantly talented Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro. It’s an incredible, incredible group of people that’s brought this to life.”
Joker premieres in theaters on October 4th.