Joaquin Phoenix’s Joke grinning in mirror
Warner Bros.

As of yesterday, Joker is the first R-rated film to earn over $1 billion at the box office, Variety reports. This is a particularly impressive feat when you consider that the film didn’t even get a Chinese release.

Todd Phillips’ alternate origin story for the iconic Batman villain has far exceeded its projected box office performance, given its modest $62.5 million budget.

“It’s already in territory that nobody thought it would get to. It’s achieved a box office that is above the wildest expectations of the studio and analysts,” Comscore’s senior media analyst, told the Associated Press. Speaking back in mid-October he claimed that “even if the box office stopped right now it’s an absolute, unqualified success.”

Its a win for Warner Bros., The studio had some success with IT Chapter Twoearlier this year. However, Joker has provided a much-needed boost after The Goldfinch, The Kitchen, Blinded by the Light and Motherless Brooklyn each underperformed at the box office.

Weekend Staff Writer

Isabelle is an Australian writer based in Berlin.