Joker has just crossed a major milestone, as the DC Comics adaptation has officially crossed the $1 billion mark at the global box office. It wasn't all that long ago, relatively speaking when it comes to the overall history of cinema, that it was extremely rare for a movie to hit that landmark number. These days, it happens far more frequently, especially in the realm of superhero movies. But Joker isn't just any comic book movie and the fact that this particular movie was able to make it to ten figures is genuinely astounding.
According to a new report, with the box office that Joker has already pulled in heading into the weekend, the latest from DC Films has crossed the billion-dollar milestone. The split is about 32 percent domestically, with around $318 million, to 68 percent international, accounting for the remaining $682 million. This also makes for the second DC release to cross that milestone this year, with Aquaman becoming the highest-grossing DC movie ever earlier in 2019 with $1.14 billion, after being released in December 2018. The only other non-Disney movie to pass the milestone this year is Sony's Spider-Man: Far From Home, which earned $1.1 billion. Though, that movie was co-produced by the Disney-owned Marvel Studios and takes place within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So it had quite a bit of help.
Joker had no help, at least not in the sense of being connected to a larger universe. It's not connected to any pre-existing universe and serves as a standalone origin story for the famed villain. Though, it does feature a young Bruce Wayne, before he becomes Batman, and we get to see his origin once again, as the Waynes meet their fate in traditional DC lore. Joker does have Joaquin Phoenix playing the lead role, and his performance has been highly praised. It's expected that Phoenix will be competing for a Best Actor Oscar for his work as the Clown Prince of Crime.
Beyond that, everything else seemed to be working against conventional wisdom on this one. This was an R-rated, extra-gritty, period drama. It was also much more of a character piece and, technically speaking, doesn't even feature the traditional Batman incostume in it. Plus, director Todd Phillips seemed like quite the unique choice to direct, given that much of his previous work was in broad, R-rated comedies, such as The Hangover and Due Date. And yet, he managed to turn a movie with a budget of just $55 million into one of the biggest hits of 2019. Joker is also now the only R-rated movie to ever make $1 billion.
Given the low production, Joker is the most profitable comic book movie ever made. Movies like Avengers: Endgame ($2.79 billion) may have grossed a great deal more, but its massive budget and marketing costs prevented it from earning as much pure profit. While Todd Phillips originally positioned this as a one-off, there has been a little bit more talk of a sequel lately, and it's easy to see why. Warner Bros. will probably do anything in its power to get Phillips and Phoenix back for another go, whatever form that may ultimately take. For now, they have reason to celebrate. This news comes to us via Forbes.