Box Office Milestone: ‘Joker’ Becomes Most Profitable Comic Book Film In History, Heading To $1B

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With $304.2 million in North America after five weeks in theaters, Joker’s new global cume is around $953 million. Presuming its 32% domestic/68% overseas split holds, then it will have a new global cume of around $957 million by tonight.

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That will be 15.3x its $62.5 million production budget, which will make the Todd Phillips-directed and Joaquin Phoenix-starring drama more profitable, in terms of budget versus global gross, than Jim Carrey’s The Mask ($351 million on a $23 million budget in 1994). The most profitable “big” comic book movies are Venom ($854 million on a $90 million budget), Batman ($411 million/$35 million), Deadpool ($783 million/$58 million), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ($200 million/$13.5 million), The Mask ($351 million/$23 million) and now Joker ($956 million/$62.5 million).

 

That means DC Films and Warner Bros.’ Joker is the most profitable comic book movie of all time. In a skewed way, Joker represents every studio’s dream, in that it’s a mid-budget, 2-D title that’s pulling top-tier blockbuster business without relying on China. That it happens to be an R-rated psychological drama is a bonus of sorts, as it’s the third-cheapest $900 million grosser of all time after Bohemian Rhapsody ($905 million on a $52 million budget) and The Lion King ($968 million on a $55 million budget in 1994). When it tops $1 billion worldwide in the next week or so, it’ll be the cheapest movie to do so, with a budget just under the $63 million spent by Jurassic Park back in 1993.

 

Up until last December, we hadn’t seen a $1 billion grosser not from Disney or Universal since Paramount’s Transformers: Age of Extinction in 2014.

 

Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: Warner Bros.
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