Joaquin Phoenix's Todd Phillips-directed comic book adaptation blasts past Venom's preview haul.

By Joey Nolfi
October 04, 2019 at 10:21 AM EDT
10/04/19
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Joker‘s box office numbers are no laughing matter.

The Joaquin Phoenix-fronted DC Comics adaptation about the origins of the iconic Batman villain flexed its financial might across advance screenings Thursday night, bagging a staggering $13.3 million (per official studio estimates) to notch a new preview-showing record for the month of October.

Todd Phillips’ blockbuster claimed the title from 2018’s Venom, which earned $10 million over its Thursday night previews across the same weekend frame last year.

For its official Friday release, the film is booked at 4,374 locations (according to Deadline), making it the widest release ever for an October-bowing film.

Joker heads into the weekend box office poised to break another October record, potentially registering the month’s highest-ever opening weekend if it can push past Venom‘s $80.3 million debut.

Given the film’s positive reception on the festival circuit thus far — including garnering enthusiastic reviews out of the Toronto International Film Festival and winning the Venice Film Festival’s prestigious Golden Lion prize — Joker should have little trouble riding good word of mouth to the top of the box office this weekend.

Given its success at the fall festivals, the film is also expected to be a major player in the upcoming awards race, particularly for Phoenix’s lead performance, which has also caused controversy due to his reportedly erratic behavior on set (exemplified by a bizarre clip shown Tuesday night on Jimmy Kimmel Live, which saw the actor melting down between scenes, though his publicist later called it “a joke outtake”).

Check EW.com on Sunday for Joker‘s final weekend gross.

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Director Todd Phillips and star Joaquin Phoenix put a new spin on Batman's arch-nemesis.
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