Joker opened to a record Friday box office that suggests all the fretting over possible violence and media criticism won’t keep moviegoers from a film they want to see.
The Warner Bros. film racked up a huge $40 million for its official opening day. That suggests an opening weekend tally of $95 million, which would make it the biggest October movie opening of all time, according to THR.
That’s also more than some other major DC Comics titles such as Justice League and Wonder Woman, according to Forbes.
The film will likely rack up nearly $200 million globally by Monday, according to Deadline, and represents a career-best for both director Todd Phillips and stars Joaquin Phoenix and Robert De Niro.
It’s particularly impressive given the film’s R-rating and grim take on the story of the Batman universe supervillain. The opening was also bigger than the R-rated superhero title Logan.
Meanwhile, as criticism of the film’s themes and content has increased, the movie’s Rotten Tomatoes critic average has declined from 75 percent after early screenings to now 70 percent. The film’s audience score is at 92 percent. The film’s CinemaScore exit polling is slightly weaker, garnering a B+ from men and women alike, and younger moviegoers responding more favorable than those over 35.
The film has sparked security worries due to its dark portrayal of a loner who feels spurned by society and takes revenge on wealthy elites. Many theaters have increased security and one theater in California even canceled screenings due to a threat.