It turns out people really, really like the Joker. The gritty alternate origin story of Batman’s most famous villain just became the first R-rated film to hit $1 billion at the worldwide box office. It’s the seventh movie to cross the billion-dollar line this year, and the only non-Disney property to do so (so far). The milestone is much rarer for Warner Bros. – the studio has only released four films that have crossed the $1 billion mark, and half of them feature the Joker.
Joker has proven to be an unstoppable force at the box office. It set a record for the biggest opening weekend in history for the month of October, and star Joaquin Phoenix has been enjoying virtually non-stop Oscar buzz since its release.
Joker is a much-needed win for Warner Bros., after a series of high-profile flops like The Goldfinch, The Kitchen, Motherless Brooklyn, and Doctor Sleep. The Scorsese-inspired comic book adaptation had a mid-level production budget of approximately $62 million, effectively making it one of the most successful films in history in terms of recouping its costs.
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