New Delhi / Comic book movie Joker becomes first R-rated film to cross $1 billion worldwide

Hindustan Times : Nov 16, 2019, 11:04 AM

Comic book movie Joker has crossed $1 billion (Rs 71635 million) in global ticket sales on Friday, becoming the first R-rated Hollywood movie ever to overcome the milestone.

A Forbes report said the “$62.5 million-budgeted DC Films movie crossed the $1 billion mark in raw global grosses”. It further said Joker is also the biggest grossing movie ever (in raw unadjusted grosses) to never play in China.

Joker, a dark origin story from Warner Bros. about Batman’s arch nemesis, had sold $999.1 billion as of Thursday despite not having been screened in China, which is projected to become the world’s largest movie market next year.

As per Hollywood Reporter, Joker is the fourth DC title to cross $1 billion, after Aquaman ($1.15 billion), The Dark Knight Rises ($1.084 billion) and The Dark Knight ($1.005 billion), without any adjustments for inflation.

Starring Joaquin Phoenix as a mentally-ill loner who finds fame through a random act of violence, the movie earned warm reviews as it opened in early October but stoked controversy in the United States over fears it would encourage violence.

Box office analyst Gitesh Pandya earlier said Joker would top the $1 billion level on Friday. “Absolutely jaw-dropping achievement for an R-rated film with a moderate budget and no China release,” Pandya, founder and editor of Box Office Guru, wrote on Twitter.

Its nearest R-rated rivals are 2018 movie Deadpool 2 ($785 million) and 2016’s “Deadpool” ($783 million), both starring Ryan Reynolds as a foul-mouthed superhero. Thanks to a modest production budget estimated at about $60 million, Joker is also the most profitable comic book movie ever, according to Forbes.com, due largely to the film’s focus on character rather than special effects and action scenes.

Joker is now the 7th biggest Hollywood movie at the 2019 box office, behind action-packed blockbuster Avengers: Endgame at $2.8 billion and family movie The Lion King at $1.6 billion, both from Walt Disney.

The movie is expected to land nominations in the upcoming Hollywood awards season and has inspired fans to visit the spot in New York’s Bronx district where Phoenix’s character transforms into the Joker, his face painted like a clown and with green hair, and dances triumphantly down a set of steep steps.