Well, they did it. They really did it. Warner Bros., DC, and director Todd Phillips broke box office records with a violent, R-rated film about the origins of an iconic supervillain. Joker opened to $96 million here in North America and nearly $250 million worldwide, making it the biggest October opening in history. It’s also the third highest R-rated opening for any film, behind only Deadpool and Deadpool 2. Just about every way you slice it, Joker has been an astounding success.
That success isn’t lost on the film’s director. On Tuesday afternoon, Phillips took to Instagram to thank the fans for going to see Joker and helping to make it the number one movie in the world.
“Thank you to everyone for showing up,” Phillips wrote in the post. “It’s been a bumpy ride but reading your feedback and feeling all the love makes it all worth it. Joker is everywhere.”
The ride to Joker‘s release that Phillips mentions was always going to be bumpy, given the film’s subject matter, but the director seemed to add quite a bit of fuel to the fire with nearly every interview he gave. In one situation, Phillips went viral with his comments about the state of comedy in the industry, suggesting that funny movies aren’t allowed to exist any more.
“Go try to be funny nowadays with this woke culture,” Phillips told Vanity Fair. “There were articles written about why comedies don’t work anymore—I’ll tell you why, because all the f*cking funny guys are like, ‘F*ck this sh*t, because I don’t want to offend you.’ It’s hard to argue with 30 million people on Twitter. You just can’t do it, right? So you just go, ‘I’m out.’ I’m out, and you know what? With all my comedies—I think that what comedies in general all have in common—is they’re irreverent. So I go, ‘How do I do something irreverent, but f*ck comedy? Oh I know, let’s take the comic book movie universe and turn it on its head with this.’ And so that’s really where that came from.”
No matter how much backlash Phillips received leading up to the Joker premiere, it only helped generate conversation surrounding the film, possibly aiding in its record-breaking box office performance.
Have you seen Joker yet? What did you think of the film? Let us know in the comments!