Despite fears that it might inspire real-life violence — as well as Jared Leto’s alleged attempts to stop its making — Joker is poised to become the highest-grossing R-rated movie ever, according to Deadline.
Granted, it’s not quite there yet. This weekend the stand-alone spin-off — which stars Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck, who becomes if not Batman’s actual favorite nemesis then at least a deranged criminal who likes to be called “Joker” — added another pile of money to its cume, bringing its worldwide haul to, as of this writing, $737 million, as per Box Office Mojo. That means that, in only three weeks of release, it’s passed such money vacuums as the first It ($700.3 million) and The Matrix Reloaded ($742.1 million).
What title is standing in its way? Deadpool, a more upbeat R-rated comic book movie, which managed a monstrous $783 million back in 2016. Getting another $45 million shouldn’t be hard, especially considering is still the number two movie in North America, trailing the number one movie, Maleficent 2, by a mere $7 million and even outgrossing Zombieland 2 by about $3 million. And it hasn’t even opened in China yet.
So congrats are in order to Joker, the little gritty superhero movie that’s making regular superhero movie money. And don’t forget to pay your respects to Phoenix, who hasn’t starred in a blockbuster this successful since 2005’s Walk the Line.