Without a China release.
“Is it just me, or is it getting crazier out there?” Joker continued to break records in its third week of release, as it became the highest-grossing R-rated (in the US) — certified “A” in India — movie of all time with $849 million (about Rs. 6,014 crores) at the box office. In doing so, it toppled The Matrix Reloaded off the first spot. Additionally, Joker is now also the highest-grossing film based on a DC Comics property in India, beating out previous record holder Aquaman. (Exact local totals aren’t available for both films.) Aquaman is still the global leader though for DC, followed by The Dark Knight Rises, The Dark Knight, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and then Joker.
India isn’t the only market where Joker is going against global trends for DC and Warner Bros. The standalone film — it’s not part of the DC film universe that includes the likes of Wonder Woman and Aquaman — is the highest-grossing DC movie in 33 other markets, including the likes of Argentina, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, and Spain. In Argentina, Mexico, Russia, and 11 other markets, Joker is also Warner Bros.’s biggest movie. On a regional and continental level, Joker is the highest-grossing DC movie of all time in Europe, the second highest-grossing Warner Bros. movie of all time in Latin America, and the fourth highest-grossing Warner Bros. movie of all time in Asia.
Of its $849 million total, Joker has brought in nearly $278 million (about Rs. 1,966 crores) in the US and Canada, followed by the UK ($57.6 million), Mexico ($39.8 million), South Korea ($35.9 million), Japan ($32.8 million) and Brazil ($30.2 million). Box office analysts predict Joker should end up with $950 million (about Rs. 6,729 crores) worldwide by the end of its theatrical run, which is all the more surprising considering the DC film never managed to release in China.
Starring Joaquin Phoenix in the lead and directed by Todd Phillips (The Hangover Trilogy), Joker is an origin story about Batman’s archenemy. While audiences are clearly flocking to the theatres, critics are somewhat divided on Joker. The DC movie is rated “fresh” at 69 percent but has a “mixed” 59 score on reviews aggregators Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, respectively. (Metacritic assigns a weighted score to each individual review, while Rotten Tomatoes opts for a binary thumbs up or thumbs down.)
Joker released October 2 in cinemas in India.