Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker took over the top of the box office, making a new domestic record with a $93.5 million debut.

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Variety reports the Warner Bros. film was able to hurdle all controversy and security concerns to become the largest October film launch of all time. The film made $93.5 million at over 4,000 theaters. The achievement leapfrogged Joker over Venom, another film that details a comic character, which opened at $80 million in 2018.

Joker is directed by Todd Phillips and his R-rated depiction of the film has been tagged with the belief o being able to spark violence due to the content of the film. The belief did not detract moviegoers from showing up. Theaters across the country would increase their security in hopes to ensure the safety of movie patrons. In New York City and Los Angeles there was a refusal of costumes and face masks for those attending, a practice that started in 2012 after a mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises.


Joker took home the top prize at this year’s Venice Film Festival and has been receiving positive reviews.

“People knew what the movie was and the noise in the background did not slow it down,”  Jeff Goldstein, Warner’s president of domestic distribution said to Variety. “It’s a thought-provoking film. We are enormously proud of Todd Phillips and the whole marketing team.”

Internationally the film performed favorably as well. Making $140.5 million in 73 markets.