Guess the last laugh goes to the insane clown with some daddy issues as Joker broke $1 billion dollars at the worldwide box office over the weekend, becoming the first R-rated film to ever do so. It’s a massive feat and one that is even more impressive because the movie didn’t come out in China, the second-largest movie moneymaker behind the U.S. (at the moment).
The film was met with controversy, mixed reviews, and concern over the violence it could inspire, but both domestic and global audiences didn’t seem to mind — or turned out because of it. Its domestic box office of $322.6M still places it in sixth, behind both Deadpool films, It, American Sniper, and the eternal champ, The Passion of the Christ. But the global box office is light years beyond any other R-rated film released, with the closest contender being The Matrix Reloaded‘s $828.7M. More impressively, Joker made $13 million internationally this very weekend and pulled in $5.6 million domestically, meaning its final cume will probably be noticeably larger than the current box.
The question now becomes what DC and WB do with this international monster. The film was made as a standalone movie, but WB has to be salivating at the idea of a franchise or at the very least a sequel. Joaquin Phoenix has recently admitted that he’d return for a sequel if the story was right, but his Joker is supposedly never going to meet Robert Pattinson’s Batman, putting a studio desperate to create a cinematic universe in a lurch with one of its few true hits.