Joaquin Phoenix’s supervillain origin film Joker has amassed over $1 billion worldwide, becoming the first R-rated film to do so when unadjusted for inflation. Directed by Todd Phillips (previously best known for directing the Hangover trilogy), the film broke records upon its release, becoming the most profitable film ever based on a comic book. Made for $55-70 million, Joker grossed $96.2 million domestically during its opening weekend alone. The film is estimated to turn a profit over $464 million, according to Deadline, citing its small budget and little decline in week-to-week grosses.
The film additionally has proved itself to be the highest grossing R-rated film ever made, unadjusted for inflation, beating out 2003’s The Matrix Reloaded, which earned $828 million worldwide. In addition to its massive commercial success, Joker has also been hailed critically, with many predicting the film to earn multiple nominations for the upcoming 92nd Academy Awards. As for what these awards will be, audiences will have to wait until Jan. 13 when the Academy will make its official announcement on this year’s nominees.
Joker, also starring Robert De Niro, Frances Conroy, and Zazie Beetz, is still playing in theaters globally. Its success, while not necessarily tied to any storyline in the DCEU or even Matt Reeves’ upcoming The Batman reboot, raises possibilities of a sequel.