It is not shocking at all when a new DC movie does tremendous business at the box office, the success of Warner Bros.’ Joker this weekend was still majestic. It’s the first of the studio’s new movies to come with an R rating, and while the Joker is a famous comic book character, this was a Batman-free movie with a very different theme and even without the Cape Crusader, it is incredible. Nevertheless, great reviews and tremendous pre-release buzz helped the movie break the record for an October release in the US. It turns out Joker’s performance was even more powerful than originally believed, with Variety reporting the movie actually made $96 million in North America during its opening weekend.
Joker collected an estimated $93.5 million in its first three days, which surpasses the previous record-holder, last year’s Venom. As Box Office Mojo reports, this puts Joker very close to the $93.8 million earned by Justice League in November 2017. The result is especially important given Joker had a more modest production budget than many recent comic book movies; an estimated $55 million opposed to Venom’s $100 million and Justice League’s huge $300 million. Joker is also the fourth largest opening ever for an R-rated movie, and worldwide, the movie made more than $234 million so far.
Joker’s huge success broke all other competition this weekend. Last week’s No. 1, the animated feature Abominable, fell to second place, making $12 million, while Downton Abbey, Hustlers, It: Chapter 2, and Ad Astra also fell one place each. The Judy Garland biopic Judy hold firm its place at No.7 by expanding across 1,458 screens to make an extra $4.44 million.
The only other newcomer in the box office Top 10 was the action thriller War, which was a tremendous success in its native India and made $1.5 million on 315 screens on its US release. As for next week, it’s likely that Joker will hold its position at the top of the chart, but will face opposition from the Will Smith sci-fi thriller Gemini Man and the new animated movie of The Addams Family.