Joker Becomes Highest-Grossing R-Rated Movie Of All Time

by : Cameron Frew on : 25 Oct 2019 18:21
Joker Thumb 2Warner Bros.

Put on a happy face: Joker has overtaken Deadpool to become the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time. 

It appears there’s no such thing as bad press – amid a storm of controversy since its release, the Clown Prince of Crime’s origin story has been raking in audience cash since its release.


After beating Venom‘s domestic box office record for an October opening (drawing in $96 million, as opposed to the latter’s $80.25m), it was clear Todd Phillips’ film was going to attract decent numbers – but this is unprecedented.

Check out the trailer for Joker below:


Joker has officially topped the R-rated leaderboard, currently sitting at a massive $785.5 million, as per Forbes, at the worldwide box office.


2016’s Deadpool, which introduced Ryan Reynolds’ sweary, spandex-wearing hero to adoring cinema-goers, made a huge $783m at the worldwide box office.

Reynolds even took a moment to congratulate the Clown Prince of Crime on Instagram, in true R-rated fashion:

Joker, however, is a different beast. Fueled by its character’s popularity and the surrounding backlash, such as the Gary Glitter tune in the film, audiences have been rushing to be in on the cultural phenomenon. It’s expected to surpass $900m, with some box office analysts speculating it could perhaps reach the magic $1 billion.

Joker 2019 2Warner Bros.

You need look no further than the Bronx neighbourhood of Highbridge, where lovers of Joker are flocking to recreate the now iconic dance scene at the core of the film – to the tune of Rock & Roll Part II.

The film has been critically-acclaimed, swooping the Golden Lion (a highly prestigious award, generally a precursor to a Best Picture Oscar nomination), at the Venice Film Festival.

UNILAD called Joker our film of the year, describing it as a ‘terrifying, harrowing, volatile triumph’.


Check out the first trailer for Joker below:


Not everyone is a fan though. According to reports, Jared Leto was frustrated when Warner Bros. gave the green light on Phillips’ take on the Batman villain, as Leto was allegedly promised he could continue his take on the character after his debut in Suicide Squad, as The Hollywood Reporter reports.

He was so frustrated in fact, Leto complained to his agents at CAA – who also represent Phillips – and asked his music manager Irving Azoff to contact Warner Bros.’ parent company in an effort to get the film canned, allegedly claiming he wasn’t being treated like an Oscar-winning actor.


It may not be the last time we see Joaquin Phoenix in the role, though. In an interview on Popcorn with Peter Travers, Phoenix discussed taking on the character and what the future could possibly hold for him in the role.

Joker 2019 2Warner Bros.

As heard on the show, Phoenix said: 

I wouldn’t have thought of this as my dream role. But now, honestly, I can’t stop thinking about it. I talked to Todd a lot about what else we might be able to do, in general, just working together, but also specifically, if there’s something else we can do with Joker that might be interesting.

The Academy Award nominee is a hot favourite as predictions for next year’s Oscars start to roll in – as it stands, Phoenix and Adam Driver (for Marriage Story) are the frontrunners for Best Leading Actor.

It’s currently sitting at 69% on Rotten Tomatoes, with the site’s critics’ consensus calling it ‘a chillingly plausible origin story that serves as a brilliant showcase for its star.’

Joker is in cinemas now

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Film and TV, box office, Deadpool, Film, Joker, News


The Hollywood Reporter and 2 others
  1. The Hollywood Reporter

    "You've Got to Stop This": Jared Leto Fumed Over New 'Joker' Movie

  2. Rotten Tomatoes


  3. Forbes

    Box Office: ‘Joker’ Has Become The Biggest R-Rated Movie Ever