Joker, the new DC movie starring Joaquin Phoenix, is closing in on a super-sized box office milestone. After another weekend in theatres, the movie has now crossed $934 million worldwide.
Joker premiered on October 4 and has performed well every weekend since. This latest weekend–its fourth weekend in theatres–Joker finished No. 2 in the US with another $14 million. The movie has now made $299.6 million in the US and $634.4 million from international markets.
According to Hollywood news site Variety, it “looks likely” that Joker will reach $1 billion globally, given the film’s sustained momentum.
Joker was produced on a small budget compared to other comic book movies. It reportedly cost $70 million to produce, which is far lower than the reported budgets of other DC movies such as Wonder Woman ($149 million) and Aquaman ($160 million).
In addition to its production budget, Warner Bros. reportedly spent $120 million to market the film and around $100 million more on profit-sharing. When all is said and done, Joker might end up turning a profit of around $500 million, which is the same as Avengers: Infinity War.
Joker is already in the record books as the most successful R-rated film of all time. It is also one of the most successful DC movies ever, recently surpassing Suicide Squad ($746 million) and Wonder Woman ($821.8 million), and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ($873.6 million). It still trails The Dark Knight ($1.004 billion), The Dark Knight Rises ($1.081 billion), and Aquaman ($1.148 billion), however.
Few could have predicted the huge success that Joker has enjoyed, and that includes Warner Bros. Reportedly due to concerns about its content and tone, Warner Bros. elected to mitigate its risk by sharing the financing with outside investors, according to The Wall Street Journal. This approach might have seemed like a measure of financial discipline at the time, but Warner Bros. is now losing out on huge profits as a result. According to the report, the outside investors that Warner Bros. took on for Joker will together earn between 40% and 50% of Joker’s entire profits.
Also eating into the profits for Warner Bros. is the fact that the studio agreed to “generous” profit-sharing deals with Joker director Todd Phillips and star Phoenix. Warner Bros. agreed to lucrative deals because it didn’t see Joker as being a blockbuster hit, and now that it has proven to be one, Phillips and Phoenix are getting paid big time.