JOKER SMASHES RECORD
Warner Bros. movie makes $93.5M debut amid controversy, security concerns
LOS angeles — Warner bros.’ Joker laughed its way to a new record at the domestic box office.
despite controversy and security concerns, the r-rated comic-book movie scored US$93.5 million over the weekend and now stands as the biggest october launch of all time. those ticket sales easily crushed the benchmark previously set last year by Sony’s superhero tentpole Venom with $80 million.
directed by todd Phillips and starring Joaquin Phoenix, Joker has been the subject of scrutiny leading up to its release over fears that the disturbing origin story of batman’s infamous foe could inspire violence. However, those anxieties didn’t deter moviegoers from turning out en masse to see what all the fuss was about.
Joker has inspired waves of headlines over apprehensions that its depiction of a mentally ill assassin could incite violence, prompting some movie theaters to take extra security precautions. new york and L.a. police increased their presence around multiplexes, and exhibition owners outlawed costumes and face masks in some venues.
the industry started to make some of these moves after the 2012 mass shooting in aurora, colo., at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises left 12 people dead and 70 injured.
Members of families affected by the aurora shooting had spoken against Joker.
the studio, part of at&t Inc., said the movie isn’t intended “to hold this character up as a hero.” the company said it has a long history of donating to victims of violence and noted its parent in recent weeks has called on policymakers to address the “epidemic” of gun violence.
Joker, co-starring robert de niro, Zazie beetz and Frances conroy, takes an unconventional approach to the superhero genre. the film follows arthur Fleck (Phoenix), an aspiring stand-up comedian who descends into madness as his life and career begin to spiral.
as the lone nationwide release, Joker received the majority of box office spoils, earning more than the rest of the films in the top 10 combined.
Joaquin Phoenix sars as the title character in the film Joker.