Joker has reclaimed its spot atop the box office this weekend after losing it momentarily to Maleficent’s sequel. Now, some controversy has started to heat up in the real world around protesters using the face paint from the movie in their own demonstrations. In Lebanon, political upheaval has led some out into the streets to march for change. There were pictures of protesters using the same clown patterns on their faces in those demonstrations. As tensions have built in other sections of the world, others have adopted the character’s mask as a symbol in their fights for various causes. New images are popping up in Hong Kong as the people there protest against China’s government and in Chile as their citizenry speaks out about their established leaders as well.
France24 has reported on these situations over the weekend and noted the increased presence of sayings and physical nods to Joker in these movements. William Blanc, an author and historian, talked to the publication about these developments around Joker. He began, "Todd Phillips' film about the Joker has a real evocative power. It echoes a form of protest against a political system that people believe is inflexible and not listening to the people."
China has been speculated as not screening the film due to the current political tensions at play. However the cause, many are looking at the film as a sort of art that channels something laying below the surface in numerous cultures around the world. Here in America, many are praising the film for the way that it brings some facets of the country’s treatment of mental illness into question. As Joker continues to rack up the dollars at the box office, the conversation will only grow louder.
Many speculated that there would be more violence in America around the release of Joker, but that has not materialized. The discourse around the film has been thorny, but there has been nothing in the way of shootings or attacks of any kind. With that concern almost completely debunked, the eyes on Joker now wonder just how much the film can rake in for Warner Bros. this Fall. October has been amazing for the film as it has already become one of the biggest movies of the year across most studio films.
The only thing left to find out is if Joker can claim that October box office record, and it looks like that is well within reach at this point.
Joker is now in theaters. 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.