Joker Box Office on Track to Beat Aquaman Debut

The early box office tracking numbers are in for Joker and it’s looking like Joaquin Phoenix could be laughing his way to one very successful opening weekend. It’s early, but the DC Comics adaptation is set to arrive in theaters this October for a potential awards season run, if early word is to be believed. That buzz, coupled with the already grabby nature of a comic book movie starring one of Hollywood’s most dedicated actors, could see Joker out-grossing Aquaman, in terms of its first weekend take at the box office.

According to a new report, Joker is on track to take in $77 million on its opening weekend. That would put it above the opening weekend take for Aquaman, which brought in $67.8 million in its first frame in December of last year, on its way to $1.1 billion at the global box office. That’s not to say the Todd Phillips-directed DC movie is going to get anywhere near that landmark. It’s unlikely Joker will have that kind of commercial appeal overseas. Still, that is an encouraging potential starting point for a possibly risky endeavor.

Again, it’s early. This could change. Box office tracking has proven to be somewhat unreliable in recent years. Especially for big, flashy blockbusters. Though, in many cases, it’s proved to be more conservative than anything else. Deadpool, Black Panther and Suicide Squad are all examples of movies that obliterated what even the most bullish tracking numbers had them bringing in. So it’s entirely possible, if all goes well, that Joker could bring in more than the $77 million predicted figure. It’s also possible it could do quite a bit less, if things get shaky a little closer to the theatrical rollout.

This is one of the more interesting projects coming our way during the fall box office season. Joker will be taking very serious liberties with the source material, as it won’t be adapting any single storyline. Instead, Todd Phillips is crafting a wholly original tale and creating an origin story for one of the most pervasive villains in all of pop culture. This will be taking place outside of the DCEU continuity, meaning Jared Leto’s version of the Clown Prince of Crime, for better or for worse, is still out there somewhere. It’s also clear that Warner Bros. sees this as a possible Oscar contender, as it will be playing at the Venice Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival.

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