Cue the unhinged laughter.
The absolute madmen pulled it off. Despite the media pushing Joker as a "dangerous" movie, or perhaps because of it, the Todd Phillips-helmed flick became an instant commercial success. Boasting the pedigree of Joaquin Phoenix in the titular role, as well as Robert De Niro as talk show host Murr-ay, Joker was considerably stacked in the acting department. Not to mention the inherent draw of Batman's beloved world, which helped ensure a universal appeal was maintained in spite of the macabre subject matter. Suffice it to say, the film had many notable factors in its favor, which likely played a role in cementing this latest financial milestone.
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Variety reports that Joker has become the first R-rated movie to surpass the billion-dollar marker, a feat made all the more impressive given its (relatively) moderate budget of $62.5 million. The same report points out that it's the seventh movie to do so this year, being the only one sitting outside the Disney umbrella. Clearly, if there's one thing the casual movie-goer loves, it's superhero movies. Even if they operate in the darker end of the morality spectrum.
To make things even more impressive, Joker managed to secure the Billi without being released in China. A good look for Todd Phillips and his team, and proof that R-rated properties can be as lucrative as PG-13 ones. It's likely that Joker can kick off a newfound trend, in which darker comic-book stories are adapted for the big screen. Have you seen the movie yet?