- Film & TV
- 07 Oct 19
In spite of – or perhaps thanks to – widespread controversy surrounding Joker, the film's opening weekend was a box office success with the record for the biggest opening weekend in October.
Nobody was sure exactly how well or poorly Joker would do once it hit the big screen. It showed great promise after winning the Golden Lion Award for the best film at the Venice Film Festival. But, shortly thereafter, the film was heavily criticised for its glorification of violence and villainy and fears arose about the potential for inciting violence at theatres.
The threats clearly did not impact fans, however, who turned out en masse for the opening weekend of Joker. The film, which had a humble budget of $50 million, raked in a whopping $114 million in international sales this weekend, proving it's a surefire box office success. The opening weekend sales set the record for the largest October opening, according to the Associated Press.
"This was a much larger result at the box office than we had ever anticipated globally," remarked Jeff Goldstein, the president of US domestic distribution at Warner Bros. "Putting records aside, we're just thrilled that audiences are embracing the movie as strong as they are."
The movie follows the psychological development of one of DC Comics' most infamous villains – Batman's nemesis, the Joker. Lead actor Joaquin Phoenix is already receiving Oscar buzz for his performance, and with this weekend's box office success, the movie is doing much better than anticipated.
Concerns arose over the threat of violence during the film's opening weekend after the FBI and Department of Homeland Security in the US released a joint bulletin outlining threats of violence and shootings. Fears had been boiling for weeks that there would be copycat attacks, similar to the 2012 mass shooting at an Aurora, Colorado theatre during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises that left twelve people dead. The FBI and Department of Homeland Security said they were closely monitoring the situation, however no violence was reported during the opening weekend.