Despite the ginned-up threats surrounding the release of “Joker,” the DC film crushed at the box office.
“Joker” hit opening day with a whopping $39.9 million gross, Forbes reported, $13.3 million of which came from Thursday previews of the film.
“That’s a bigger opening day than Venom ($32 million Friday/$10 million Thursday), Logan ($33 million/$9.5 million) and Justice League ($38 million/$13.5 million),” Forbes highlighted. “It also had a bigger opening day (with or without inflation) than Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon’s heavily retooled Justice League movie.”
With Friday’s impressive numbers, Deadline reported, the three-day haul for “Joker” is at $94M.
“One rival distribution source believes that Joker, in play at 73 offshore territories, is heading to a worldwide opening between $188M-$194M. That would be right behind Venom‘s opening October global record of $207.4M,” the report said.
It was also a record-breaking weekend for director Todd Phillips, topping past domestic three-day openings for his other films, such as “The Hangover 2” with $85.9 million, Deadline reported.
Same goes for lead actor Joaquin Phoenix, “far exceeding the $60.1M 2002 opening of Signs, and a great major studio comeback for the three time Oscar nominee who has starred of late in a string of indie pics like Mary Magdalene, the Sisters Brothers and You Were Never Really Here.”
Though seasoned actor Robert De Niro only played a supporting role in the flick, it was his “biggest domestic B.O. opening of all-time, ahead of Shark Tale ($47.6M),” the report noted.
“Joker” is also earning praise from the general audience, despite less-than-impressive reviews from media critics.
As reported by The Daily Wire on Friday morning, viewers gave “Joker” a solid 93% approval score via review site Rotten Tomatoes. Critics, on the other hand, gave the film a much lower collective 69% approval score, which is still technically “certified fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics also gave “Joker” a harsh 58 “metascore” on review site Metacritic.
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“The movie is great! I’ve never seen a film like this before,” one of the audience reviews on Rotten Tomatoes gushed. “The movie is so intricate and complex that it transforms into a compelling authentic story. I believe that this movie will go down in history as one of the greatest ever.”
“I love the visuals and acting, amazing work,” a verified audience review praised. “[Joaquin] Phoenix kills this portrayal. A must see!!”
“Masterclass in acting and directing!” one of the many five-star audience reviews raved.
The critics were less enthused, as expected, given the leading press coverage of “Joker.” Journalists routinely cast the film as controversial for its apparent nod to “incels” (young men who are involuntarily celibate), suggesting that the subject matter could trigger a viewer to commit mass murder. Likewise, gun control activist groups raised the same concerns.
Family members of the victims of the Aurora movie theater shooting even sent a letter to Warner Brothers asking them to “donate to groups that aid victims of gun violence,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“We are calling on you to be a part of the growing chorus of corporate leaders who understand that they have a social responsibility to keep us all safe,” the letter reads in part.
As covered by The Daily Wire in September, the FBI and U.S. Military “issued warnings about the ‘credible’ threat of a mass shooting by an ‘incel’ extremist at a screening of the film.”