Todd Phillips’ Joker was advertised, publicized, and crafted as a different kind of comic book movie: a comic book film.
Based around mental deteriorations rather than CGI slam-fests, it’s become one of the year’s most discussed productions. And now, according to a new report from Forbes, it’s become the genre’s most profitable addition.
After fives weeks in theaters, Joker‘s international grosses have brought it to $953 million – with a 32% domestic/68% overseas split – which is more than 15 times its estimated budget of $62.5 million. Various other expenses related to the film may not be accounted for in that figure, such as its extensive marketing campaign, but speaking directly in terms of its gross vs. production costs, Joker has taken the top spot.
Previously, according to Forbes, #1 had belonged to Jim Carrey’s The Mask, earning $351 million on a $23 million budget. The article also broke down some of the other frontrunners in the category, including Venom ($854 million gross off of a $90 million budget), Batman ($411 million gross off of a $35 million budget), and Deadpool ($783 million gross off of a $58 million budget).
Of course, this statistical feat comes with the knowledge that the film falls way short of becoming the top-grossing comic book movie. That title firmly belongs to Avengers: Endgame, whose $2.8 billion intake more than earned it the top spot among all film grosses. This isn’t to discredit Joker‘s achievement at all; Todd Phillips’ R-rated drama was based around one fantastic performance rather than a team-up cast, and it also didn’t have a decade-long fanbase to profit from.
Suffice it to say, Joker‘s impact on popular culture has reigned far beyond the comic cinema canon. And hopefully, as Oscar season draws nearer, it’ll continue to make its mark.