Todd Phillips' Joker nearly skipped a theatrical release. Warner Bros. reportedly thought about making the movie an online exclusive because of the controversy it kicked up. Studios are currently scrambling to figure out what to do next as the coronavirus continues to spread all over the world. Movie theaters are shut down and some studios have started to make their projects available online for viewers in effort to provide comfort, while also trying to make some kind of money at the same time.

Earlier this week, it was reported that Warner Bros. was toying with the idea of releasing Wonder Woman 1984 online before deciding against it. The upcoming movie is one of the most anticipated of the year and its June release date is in jeopardy due to the coronavirus outbreak. Late last year, Warner Bros. reportedly thought about skipping theaters with Joker to avoid further controversy. It seems like it was a lifetime ago, but there was a huge uproar right before the movie hit theaters out of fear that it would inspire people to commit violent acts.

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The studio obviously went ahead with the Joker release and all of the controversy started to fade as it became a quick success. Joaquin Phoenix's performance was instantly celebrated and whispers of Academy Award nominations started to spread. When all was said and done, the movie ended up making over $1 billion at the global box office. Joaquin Phoenix went on to win his first Oscar for Best Actor and the movie has been hailed as one of the best of 2019. A lot has changed, even since the Oscars, which were held earlier this year.

With movie theaters shut down across the world, studios are having to adapt in real-time to try and salvage multi-million dollar projects. Release dates for many of the year's biggest movies have been postponed, while other movies are ending up getting digital releases far earlier than anticipated. It's an interesting time for the entertainment business since so many people are depending on it while spending so much time at home. For now, the future is uncertain since it's unclear when the coronavirus pandemic will start to fade out.

In the end, it was a wise decision by Warner Bros. to release Joker in theaters. One has to wonder if the movie would have been as well-received as it was or gotten all of the accolades had it been released online only. The movie is now available to purchase or rent digitally, so now may be a good time to go back and either watch it for the first time or re-watch it in an effort to stay indoors. As for Wonder Woman 1984, we'll just have to wait and see what the studio ends up doing with the release date. This was first reported by The Wrap.

Kevin Burwick at Movieweb
Kevin Burwick