The Warner Bros. film “Joker,” depicting the rise of perhaps the most infamous comic book villain of all time, has broken numerous box office records with its weekend release, as per CNN.
The film, starring Joaquin Phoenix in the title role and Robert de Niro, brought in just under $94 million in North America in its opening weekend, which marks the highest-grossing October opening weekend in history. “Joker” has also set the new record for “the largest opening for Warner Bros. this year as well as one of the biggest openings for an R-rated film.” The film’s worldwide gross currently stands at $234 million.
Government agencies such as the FBI and DHS have claimed that there were numerous threats of violence against screenings of “Joker,” while none have actually materialized. Numerous critics have claimed, without evidence, that “Joker” somehow glorifies violence and may inspire mass shooters.
The filmmakers have largely stood behind the film, with Director Todd Phillips stating that people were only mad at the film because “outrage is a commodity,” while Executive Producer Michael Uslan declared that the film has “held up a mirror to our society,” and that since “people don’t want to see that reflection, they want to run from it.” Star Joaquin Phoenix walked out of an interview with The Telegraph after the interviewer asked him whether or not the film would inspire mass shooters.
Despite the media-manufactured controversy, the film has proven overwhelmingly popular with audiences. The film currently holds a 90% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, and a similar score of 9.0/10 on the Internet Movie Database (IMDb). On the latter website, the outpouring of audience support for the film has even led to it being ranked as the 9th-highest reviewed film of all time.