The latest box-office projections for Joker, starring Joaquin Phoenix, forecast a big opening weekend for the one-off thriller based on DC’s Clown Prince of Crime.
Box Office Pro‘s numbers place the movie’s haul in a range of $85 million to a high of $105 million. The “3-Day Opening Forecast” is slightly less than, but closer to, the high number: $103 million. These numbers are a 27% increase from last week and up significantly from the site’s first long-range tracking a month ago, predicting a $60 to $90 million open.
Joker’s estimated domestic total stands at $210 million, an increase from an initial projection of $175 million. A “healthy weekend” is expected followed by a quick drop. Still, the budget ($55 million) would be swiftly recouped.
Projections for Joker are exceedingly better than Shazam! and Aquaman’s early forecasts that were in the $40-$60 million range. Shazam! eked out an opening tally within that range ($53 million). Aquaman did a little better ($67 million) and became the highest-grossing DC movie worldwide. (Related: Aquaman Rides a Box Office Wave Overseas — America is Not as Sold)
Box Office Pro is calling Joker a “’water cooler’ type of movie that inspires interest from a variety of demographics,” like IT, and says it could be a record-breaker, but they add the caveat the Phoenix-led R-rated vehicle might be “divisive.” The site states:
“We remain cautious in expectations for staying power as the R-rated film is likely to be divisive among general audiences, but odds at becoming the first-ever $100 million+ opener in October history look increasingly favorable. At the very least, becoming one of the biggest R-rated debuts ever and topping Venom‘s standing $80.3 million record for October look like safe bets for now.”
Their numbers are domestic and don’t reflect international projections. Though they cite Joker’s reception at the Venice Film Festival, the big reason for the uptick in this recent forecast is all the “gushing” positive reviews.
Joker screened at the Venice Film Festival where it won the Golden Lion — the Festival’s top prize for Best Picture. The film also received an eight-minute standing ovation after the credits rolled.
As a standalone origin story independent of any continuity, there probably will not be a sequel but writer/director Todd Phillips said he is open to the idea as long as he gets to work with Joaquin Phoenix again, and if they think of something “pretty cool.” (Related: Todd Phillips is Open to a Joker Sequel with Joaquin Phoenix)
Early reviews are positive and praise Joaquin Phoenix most of all for his performance which is being called Oscar-worthy. Many, including featured player Marc Maron, see it as a character study of a mentally ill person and buzz for Joker’s Oscar potential has been building steadily the last few months. (Related: Marc Maron Describes Todd Phillips’ Joker Movie as “Character Study of Mentally Ill Person”)
Joker is out Oct. 4th.