‘Joker’s laughing all the way to the bank with its $90m October opening record
It’s time for the singular release with as much anticipation, controversy, and attention as 10 new entrants combined. Warner Bros’ ‘Joker’ begins its Box Office run this weekend with eyes on ‘Venom’s $80m opening record, although standing in its way (apart from heightened police presence) are a myriad of issues and pre-release pitfalls, as well as the valiant joint efforts of ‘It Chapter Two’, ‘Ad Astra’, and ‘Rambo: Last Blood’s respective runs.
So, what’s opening this weekend?
It’s been near-impossible to avoid any mention of ‘Joker’, Warner Bros’ newest DC Comics adaptation, in recent weeks. The film, which focuses on the creation of the eponymous supervillain (otherwise known as Arthur Fleck), has infact been in production since 2018, but after its Golden Lion win at the Venice Film Festival back in August, the chatter has been non-stop.
Understandably so; the film is different. It’s an R-rated psychological thriller set in 1981, far removed from the lighter-hearted, PG-13 action flicks most successful comic book movies are known to be. It also features an all-star cast, with Oscar-nominee Joaquin Phoenix in the title role, alongside Oscar-winner Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, and Frances Conroy.
It’s also helmed by ‘The Hangover’ director Todd Phillips, who isn’t far from some of the controversy after recent comments about the ‘state of comedy’ went viral. Coupled with fears that the film itself idiolises and inspires violence – fears that led to a ‘quieter’ premiere and the film being pulled from an Aurora cinema, it’s easy to see why the film industry has been eyeballing this for weeks.
But how does this affect it at the Box Office? While other films may crumble when confronted with these issues, WB (now after the success of ‘It Chapter Two’) and ‘Joker’ are only going from strength to strength. Pre-sales were through the roof according to Atom Tickets, whose pre-release figures outpaced those of ‘Venom’ and ‘It Chapter Two’. ‘Joker’s $13.3m Thursday night preview number completely blew ‘Venom’s $10m record out the water, hinting at the inevitable happening by Sunday night.
Critically, it’s quite positive, with its 69% on Rotten Tomatoes certified fresh (not to mention its 93% audience score). It has barely any competition either, with ‘Ad Astra’s 3rd weekend, and ‘It Chapter Two’s 5th marking the only credible opposition standing in its way. All signs point to a record-breaker then, and that’s what we’re going for, with our ‘Logan’-esque $87m forecast.
What else is on?
With the media circus surrounding ‘Joker’, it’s easy to forget that 9 other films will make up the top 10 Box Office chart this weekend. Only 1 will earn over $10m however, with DreamWorks’ ‘Abominable’ forecasted to drop by under 40% to post $13m. Similar to last year’s ‘Smallfoot’ (-37.5%), ‘Abominable’s aiming to finish the weekend around the $40m domestic mark, on its way to an $80m total. Meanwhile, Judy Garland-biopic ‘Judy’ expands into an extra 1,000 cinemas, and aims to keep its place in the top 10 with $4m.
|Rank||Last Week’s Rank||Film||STUDIO||Budget||JUMPCUT’s prediction||Weekend drop||Week no.|
|3||2||Downton Abbey||Focus Features||$13m+||$8m||-44.2%||3|
|5||4||It Chapter Two||Warner Bros||$79m||$5.2m||-49.2%||5|
|7||6||Rambo: Last Blood||Lionsgate||$50m||$4.2m||-51.2%||3|
|10||9||The Lion King||Disney||$250m||$1m||-39.6%||12|