You must be joking if you thought that Todd Phillips‘ JOKER was done fooling around at the box office after earning over $1 billion dollars worldwide. According to recent box office reports, JOKER has officially defeated BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE in domestic dollars earned with a $330,601,522 take over BVS’ more than admirable $330,360,194 total. With numbers like these, it’s important to note that JOKER only cost $55 million to produce, while Batman v Superman bore a $255 million dollar price tag for a film that ultimately disappointed at the box office.
Arguably, both movies feature dark and deconstructive takes on their central characters, yet it’s Phillips’ JOKER that has been laughing its way to the bank. Some would say that Joaquin Phoenix‘s mesmerizing performance as Arthur Fleck is the reason for JOKER’s success, while others would argue that Phillips’ film finally introduces something new to the superhero genre, a story told from the villain’s perspective. Personally, I would say that both sides are correct, and that perhaps even more aspects of the film have led to its monumental success. In addition to being well-acted, JOKER also boasts tight and stylish direction on Phillips’ behalf. Moreover, the film’s costumes, makeup, and gritty cinematography also lend to JOKER’s unique presentation and haunting vibes. As much as the film is choked with street steam, the gagging smell of face paint, and commentary on government-run systems that fail the very people they’re meant to protect, Phillips’ JOKER still arrives like a breath of fresh air for the ever-present and ofttimes formulaic superhero genre.
As JOKER continues its box office run, I’ll be interested to see if the film ends up breaking even more records. When looking at the numbers, it still has a ways to go before surpassing films like GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY ($333 million), SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING ($334 million), and AQUAMAN ($335 million) for domestic market supremacy. I think JOKER definitely stands a chance of defeating those films, but with the Christmas holiday fast approaching, we could see Phillips’ film finally bowing out of theaters while preparing for its home release launch next year.