"Joker" is out now.
Joker has been one of the most anticipated films of this year, and also one of the most controversial. With Joaquin Phoenix playing the titular role and Todd Phillips serving as the director, it's already beat a record previously held by Venom, even though it just hit theatres today. According to Deadline, the film made $13.3M at the Thursday Box Office making it the new best for an October preview. The record was previously set by Venom but Joker has also beat the records for other R-rated films such as Deadpool, It Chapter 2 and several other films.
Opening weekend for Joker has been previously met with controversy on its social commentary, especially considering the Aurora shooting and how the Joker is depicted. Many have thought that this could possibly have the reverse effects of becoming a "cautionary tale" and possibly inciting violence. Local police have increased security at certain theatres over these concerns.
The worries over a potential shooting inspired by the film prompted Warner Bros. to issue a statement following an open letter written by the parents of the Aurora shooting victims.
"Gun violence in our society is a critical issue, and we extend our deepest sympathy to all victims and families impacted by these tragedies. Our company has a long history of donating to victims of violence, including Aurora, and in recent weeks, our parent company joined other business leaders to call on policymakers to enact bi-partisan legislation to address this epidemic," it read. "At the same time, Warner Bros. believes that one of the functions of storytelling is to provoke difficult conversations around complex issues. Make no mistake: neither the fictional character Joker, nor the film, is an endorsement of real world violence of any kind. It is not the intention of the film, the filmmakers or the studio to hold this character up as a hero.”