As we very narrowly avoid a (kind of too dark, context considered) joke about Todd Phillips’ firmly grim Joker origin story “getting the last laugh,” the Joaquin Phoenix starrer did manage to not only conquer the box office this weekend, but also break records. Joker banked $93.5 million domestically and $234 million worldwide. This makes it the highest October opening in history—a title previously held by Sony Pictures’ Venom, which started with an $80.3 million haul— and one of the biggest R-rated openings to date, per Forbes. If there was any long-sustaining controversy that could have arguably helped the film, or any pretty scary circumstances that might have stoked the conversation up until its releases, we must have missed all of it.
For those who weren’t in the mood for an up-close tour of a murderous clown’s psyche (and why wouldn’t you be?!), there was more than enough counterprogramming to go around, even if the remaining top five combined couldn’t managed to match Joker’s earnings. Abominable continues to perform strongly amongst families, dropping to the second-place spot with an additional $12 million, bringing the global cum to $76.3 million—just above its $75 million budget. British aristocracy maintains its modest allure with Focus Features’ Downton Abbey, which earned $8 million domestically and a seat at the No. 3 spot. Hustlers continues its impressive run by adding $6.3 million to its total gross while It Chapter 2 (which could still count as counterprogramming, we guess, if you’re just in the mood for a different problematic clown) rounded out the top five with another $5.3 million.
Judy, starring Renee Zellwegger as Judy Garland, expanded with 997 additional screens and added $4.44 million to its pot in its second week, coming in right behind Ad Astra and ahead of Rambo: Last Blood. Meanwhile, Fox Searchlight’s largely panned Lucy In The Sky came in at No. 29, making $55,000 across 37 screens, which doesn’t buy a whole lot of diapers.
Next weekend should provide enough interesting shake-ups between with the animated reimagining of The Addams Family and Gemini Man, starring enough Will Smith to hold us over until his next project.
For a more detailed breakdown of this weekend’s box office, check out Box Office Mojo.