Joker Hits $1 Billion at Box Office — Making It the First R-Rated Movie to Reach the Milestone
Joker has broken another record!
The movie, starring Joaquin Phoenix in the titular role, has surpassed $1 billion in gross sales at box offices world wide, Entertainment Weekly reports. The milestone makes the blockbuster the first R-rated movie to hit the $1 billion mark, according to the outlet.
It also means that the movie, which tells the tale of the rise of Batman’s arch-nemesis, has now officially beat out Deadpool as the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time. The Ryan Reynolds-stared film made $783 million.
This isn’t the first record for Joker.
It racked up $93.5 million in its first weekend on wide release, EW reported, giving it the highest October opening weekend ever. It also brought in $737.5 million in its first three weekends alone after coming out on October 4.
The movie, directed by Todd Phillips, earned critical acclaim at its debut at the Venice Film Festival in late August — it won the Golden Lion award at the festival — and was again applauded at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.
But amidst positive buzz in the industry, the movie also generated controversy in the weeks leading up to its release, with people concerned about whether its depiction of violence would incite copycats. Additionally, it features a song by convicted pedophile Gary Glitter — though it was later reported that he would not receive royalties from the song, “Rock and Roll (Part 2)” being used in the movie.
Responding to the backlash, star Phoenix said, “Well, I think that, for most of us, you’re able to tell the difference between right and wrong.”
“And those that aren’t are capable of interpreting anything in the way that they may want to,” he said, speaking at a press conference for Joker, according to IGN. “People misinterpret lyrics from songs. They misinterpret passages from books. So I don’t think it’s the responsibility of a filmmaker to teach the audience morality or the difference between right or wrong. I mean, to me, I think that that’s obvious.”
Joker is in theaters now.