Score one for the Clown Prince of Crime. Joker is off to a solid start at the box office already in Thursday previews. A record-setting start, at that. Last night’s tally came in at $13.3 million, setting a new high bar for an October Thursday opener; 2018’s Venom held that for almost exactly one year with a total of $10 million. Sony’s Spider-Man-adjacent one-off went on to win the weekend with another record-setting $80.25 million. Warner Bros.’ Joker is now expected to bring in a total near that, possibly under it, and perhaps even going well over it.
As Box Office Mojo has it, Joker could ultimately bring in anywhere from $75 million to $90+ million once it’s all said and done this weekend. Buzz–both positive and negative–and upward trends suggest that the sky’s the limit for Todd Phillips‘ supervillain story. Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Bill Camp, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Glenn Fleshler, Douglas Hodge, Marc Maron, Josh Pais, and Shea Whigham, Joker opens today in another record-setting 4,374 theaters.
Here’s the official synopsis for Joker:
Forever alone in a crowd, Arthur Fleck seeks connection. Yet, as he trods the sooted Gotham City streets and rides the graffitied mass transit rails of a hostile town teeming with division and dissatisfaction, Arthur wears two masks. One, he paints on for his day job as a clown. The other he can never remove; it’s the guise he projects in a futile attempt to feel he’s a part of the world around him, and not the misunderstood man whom life is repeatedly beating down. Fatherless, Arthur has a fragile mother, arguably his best friend, who nicknamed him Happy, a moniker that’s fostered in Arthur a smile that hides the heartache beneath. But, when bullied by teens on the streets, taunted by suits on the subway, or simply teased by his fellow clowns at work, this social outlier only becomes even more out of sync with everyone around him. Directed, co-written and produced by Todd Phillips, “Joker” is the filmmaker’s original vision of the infamous DC villain, an origin story infused with, but distinctly outside, the character’s more traditional mythologies. Phillips’ exploration of Arthur Fleck, who is indelibly portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix, is of a man struggling to find his way in Gotham’s fractured society. Longing for any light to shine on him, he tries his hand as a stand-up comic, but finds the joke always seems to be on him. Caught in a cyclical existence between apathy and cruelty and, ultimately, betrayal, Arthur makes one bad decision after another that brings about a chain reaction of escalating events in this gritty, allegorical character study.
For more of our ongoing coverage of all things Joker, be sure to check out these recent write-ups:
- Oscar Beat: Best Picture Predictions 2020
- Joker’: Joaquin Phoenix Reveals “Radical Changes” Made to Character During Filming
- ‘Joker’: How the Ending Highlights the Film’s Biggest Problem
- Best Joker Episodes of ‘Batman: The Animated Series’, Ranked
- Watch Joaquin Phoenix Lose His Focus (and His Cool) in On-Set ‘Joker’ Outtake