Joker breaks box office record with opening weekend despite violence controversy

Film received criticism for its depictions of violence and mental health

Roisin O'Connor
Monday 07 October 2019 10:01 BST
Joker - Trailer 2

Joker has broken the US box office record for October openings and debuted with $93.5 million in domestic earnings.

The origin story starring Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck/Joker also took $140 million overseas to mark a global launch of $234 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter. It also marked the best opening for Warner Bros in two years.

The film has caused controversy due to its depiction of violence and mental illness, prompting cinemas and police departments to heighten security amid concerns of copycats.

Reviews for the movie have been mixed. The Independent gave the film four stars, calling Phoenix’s Joker “a heavier, more brooding and introspective figure than that of Heath Ledger in [Christopher] Nolan’s The Dark Knight”.

The Telegraph deemed the film “a Fight Club for our time”. However, The Guardian called it “desperately serious and very shallow” and crowned it “the most disappointing film of the year”.

Over the weekend, an audience at a Joker screening in Long Beach, California fled the cinema after false reports of a shooting.

Joker is out in cinemas now.

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