Article by Sam McTernan
So far, Joker has garnered praise and controversy alike. However, experts still predict that Todd Phillips‘ film will have a great debut. That Joker is set to have a record-breaking opening weekend is probably not a headline you’d expect,m especially if you read too much into the recent controversy. With the movie set to make $80 million, it is safe to say that good or bad, people talking sells tickets.
Deadline have reported that Warner Brothers will likely push Joker hard this weekend in at least 4,000 theatres. In comparison, Sony’s Venom opened in 4,250 theatres this time last year. The studio will also be starting previews this Thursday night, an hour earlier than usual, with some showings kicking off at 4 p.m. local time in most markets. An opening at $80.21 million could cement Joker as the fourth highest R-rated comic book opening ever, behind Deadpool ($132.4m), Deadpool 2 ($125.5m), and Logan ($88.4m). It could also edge out Venom, 300 ($70.9m), and Watchmen ($55.2m).
Regarding the controversy, which was caused by the US military sending a bulletin to troops warning of mass shootings, Todd Phillips had this to say.
We didn’t make the movie to push buttons. I literally described to Joaquin at one point in those three months as like, “Look at this as a way to sneak a real movie in the studio system under the guise of a comic book film.” It wasn’t, “We want to glorify this behavior.” It was literally like “Let’s make a real movie with a real budget and we’ll call it f–ing Joker.” That’s what it was.
Movies with violence, much like any other medium, will always get people talking. The controversy this time seems to be doing Joker a favour and selling tickets.
Joker hits theatres 4th of October.