“Joker” has exceeded even the wildest of expectations doing what no R-Rated film has done before: gross $1 billion at the global box office.
The film is set to surpass the worldwide mark on Friday, currently sitting at $999 million and change, including $317 million domestically. This makes it the seventh Warner Bros. film to do cross that mark
“Joker” joins last year’s “Aquaman” ($1.14 billion) and the two Christopher Nolan Batman sequels, “The Dark Knight” ($1 billion) and “The Dark Knight Rises” ($1.08 billion) to cross the $1 billion. The other movies are “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. 2,” ($1.34 billion), “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King” ($1.12 billion) and “The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey” ($1.01 billion).
Right now “Joker” sits just behind “The Dark Knight” on the all-time box office earners at no. 44.
Todd Phillips directed the film that starred Joaquin Phoenix in an origin story about the iconic Batman villain, and it has had a remarkable run since it won the top prize at the Venice International Film Festival.
Domestically, “Joker” opened to a strong but not record-breaking $96 million, but it held on strong and for weeks did not have a weekend-to-weekend drop above 50%. Though it still falls just short of the domestic total set by Warner Bros. and New Line’s horror film “It,” which is also rated R.
Internationally it’s held on even stronger after opening to $152.2 million, despite lacking the action-heavy appeal that would usually aid it overseas. “Joker” even broke all-time Warner Bros. records across 14 countries, including Russia and Mexico, over $100 million grossed in Latin America, and DC movie records in 34 countries, including Japan, Italy and Argentina.
Before even its fourth weekend in theaters, “Joker” surpassed “Deadpool 2” as the highest-grossing R-rated film ever, which only managed $785 million worldwide. And the achievement even earned a cheeky response from “Deadpool” star Ryan Reynolds when he tweeted a “Joker” poster with the caption, “You Mother F—er.”
The next goalpost in “Joker’s” sight is the Oscars, where Joaquin Phoenix is considered a strong contender for the Best Actor prize.