The record-breaking theatrical run of Joker is now over, with Todd Phillips’ origin story currently in the midst of a huge awards season push, including nominations in some major categories at both the Critics’ Choice Awards and the Golden Globes. After earning well over a billion dollars at the box office and becoming the most profitable comic book movie ever made, expect Joker to turn out to be something of a game-changer.
Whenever a certain type of film does well with critics and at the box office, rival studios inevitably tend to jump on the bandwagon and push similar projects into production, so there will no doubt be a huge number of R-rated comic book movies set to arrive over the next few years. However, they’ll be lucky if they find an actor as dedicated and committed as Joaquin Phoenix, who looks set to score Best Actor nominations at virtually every awards ceremony over the next few months.
Phoenix has always been regarded as one of the finest talents of his generation, and his work in Joker only reinforces that notion. It’s a startling, harrowing, vicious performance of a man going off the deep end, but it turns out that director Todd Phillips earned twenty times as much money from the movie as Phoenix did.
Thanks to some savvy negotiating that saw him rewarded with a percentage of the profits, Phillips is set to walk away from Joker up to $100 million richer. Phoenix, on the other hand, was paid the not-inconsiderate sum of $4.5 million, which is a lot of money but still pales in comparison to what his director is earning.
Trying to make sense of Hollywood salaries is a fool’s game though, especially when you consider that Joaquin Phoenix was paid less to star in Joker than Kristen Stewart was to star in the disastrous Charlie’s Angels. Go figure, right?