For the past few weeks, it's been readily apparent that Joker is a huge hit for Warner Bros., but we have some new perspective that sheds some light on just how much of a win it truly is. Rather amazingly, the gritty, R-rated DC Comics adaptation is set to turn nearly as much of a profit as Avengers: Endgame did for Marvel Studios, which, earlier this year, went on to become the highest-grossing movie of all time, topping James Cameron's Avatar.
According to a new report, Joker, when all is said and done, including revenue from rentals and home video sales, will take home at least $464 million in profit. And that sounds like it could be a somewhat conservative number, as those profits are expected to approach $500 million, if Joker can surpass $900 million worldwide. Considering its already well on its way to $800 million and is expected to surpass that mark come Monday following its fourth weekend, that doesn't seem at all impossible. Especially since this should be an awards contender and will have some presence at the box office for the next few months because of that.
Avengers: Endgame, meanwhile, grossed $2.79 billion at the global box office, making it the biggest movie ever. But how is it that a movie that grossed more than three times as much at the box office will turn just as much profit? Joker has an estimated budget in the neighborhood of $55 million, which doesn't account for marketing. That is indeed costly. On the flipside, Endgame cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $500 million when the budget and marketing is factored in. Plus, many of the major stars have a small percentage of profit on the back end. That all adds up.
It's a true exercise in taking a risk, but doing so at a reasonable price point. Director Todd Phillips made Joker for much less than the average comic book movie, because this isn't the average comic book movie. This is a gritty character study centered on Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck, who is transformed into the infamous villain by a cruel society. Mixed as critics may be on the movie itself, it's unquestionably turned into one of the great Hollywood business decisions of 2019. Especially if Warner Bros. can ice the cake with an Oscar nomination or two.
Just to offer some more perspective, Aquaman, at $1.15 billion worldwide, became DC's highest-grossing release ever and took home $260.5 million in profit. Wonder Woman, with $821.8 million worldwide, turned a profit of $252.9 million. It will also be in the same neighborhood as Black Panther, which made $476.8 million in profit after a record-breaking $1.3 billion run at the box office last year. Given the financials, it will be interesting to see how long Todd Phillips sticks to his insistence that this was a one-and-done movie. This news comes to us via Deadline.