Joker Preview Night Box Office Close to Setting New Record

Joker officially arrives in theaters this weekend, introducing a dark new take on DC Comics lore. While the film is only a few hours into its theatrical run, it reportedly is already about to hit a significant milestone. A new report from Deadline reveals that the film is on its way to earning over $10 million in Thursday night previews, and could potentially have the best Thursday night box office record for the month of October. Sony's Venom made the same amount of money when it debuted a year ago, but the report indicates that Joker could very easily beat that record.

Joker stars Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck, a failed stand-up comedian whose emotional isolation molds him into the iconic DC Comics villain. The film also stars Zazie Beetz, Robert De Niro, Marc Maron, Brian Tyree Henry, and Frances Conroy.

In recent weeks, the film has been the subject of controversy, after some wondered if the theatrical release would incite violence. This has resulted in increased security at certain screenings and online, as well as the film not being shown in the theater where the Aurora, Colorado shooting took place during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises.

"The movie makes statements about a lack of love, childhood trauma, lack of compassion in the world. I think people can handle that message," director Todd Phillips said in an interview last month.

"I think that, for most of us, you're able to tell the difference between right and wrong," added the film's star, Joaquin Phoenix. "And those that aren't are capable of interpreting anything in the way that they may want to. People misinterpret lyrics from songs. They misinterpret passages from books. So I don't think it's the responsibility of a filmmaker to teach the audience morality or the difference between right or wrong."

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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.