Despite being embroiled in controversy in the lead-up to its release, Joker is officially going down as one of the highest-grossing R-rated movies of all time. The Joaquin Phoenix flick has wrapped up its box office run in a post-Oscars second breath, settling with an overall tally of $335,451,311 domestically. The slots the Oscar-winning movie in as the fourth-highest-grossing R-rated movie to ever grace the box office in the United States behind The Passion of the Christ ($370.78m), Deadpool ($363.07m), and American Sniper ($350m).
Globally, it's a whole different story. The Todd Phillips-helmed movie shattered expectations with a $1.07 billion haul worldwide, officially making it the highest-grossing R-rated movie and by a healthy margin, at that. Deadpool 2, the second movie on the global charts, grossed $785.04 million. The film ended up winning Best Actor and Best Original Score at this year's Academy Awards.
"Joker began as an idea, an experiment really— could we take an “indie approach” to a studio film by inverting it into a character study to reflect the world around us?" Phillips said on Instagram celebrating the movie's year-highest 11 Oscars nominations. "Explore what we’re seeing and feeling in society, from the lack of empathy to the effects of the absence of love. I am deeply honored by the overwhelming recognition of the Academy this morning, and I want to thank the genius that is Joaquin Phoenix, and all my incredible collaborators. We are beyond humbled that our peers in the filmmaking community have embraced the film and its message. #joker #oscars #1111"
The movie performed so admirably at the box office, it shifted how other studios were viewing their current content strategies. Venom 2 producer Matt Tolmach went on record last year saying the studio would at least consider turning the sequel into an R-rated feature after the Joker success.
“I mean, I think you always have to think about [it], now that that works. Having said that, our movie worked really well,” Tolmach told CinemaBlend. “Our franchise exists as it is, and I don’t think anybody is looking to just say, ‘Hey, they [did it]!’ We have a place in the world. So it isn’t like suddenly everybody’s considering what to do with the rating. I think what Joker does is it tells you that you can succeed."
Joker is now available wherever movies are sold.