Joker breaks the box office during its opening weekend

Alton Worley II | Staff Writer

Screen Shot 2019-10-21 at 2.13.13 PM

Photo Credit: Unsplash User Krists Luhaers

Despite having an R rating, the new movie Joker has not only managed to top the box office, but also break the all-time record for the biggest opening in October. 

Listed as a drama/thriller, Joker, directed by Todd Phillips, is described on IMDB as such: “In Gotham City, mentally-troubled comedian Arthur Fleck is disregarded and mistreated by society. He then embarks on a down- ward spiral of revolution and bloody crime. This path brings him face-to- face with his alter-ego: ‘The Joker.’” 

In October, the month of Hal- loween, horror and thriller movies are expected to top the box office. Joker gained its R rating because of its strong bloody violence, disturbing behavior, language and brief sexual images. 

Joker is the first R-rated movie since 2011 to hold the highest Oc- tober box office opening, grossing $96,202,337 its first weekend. 

Anticipation was high leading up to the movie as audiences geared up to see a brand-new take on the classic Batman villain’s origin. The cast is star-studded, with Academy Award and Golden Globe nominee Joaquin Phoenix playing the starring role and supporting actors such as Academy Award winner Robert De Niro and Emmy Award nominee Zazie Beetz. 

While some were excited to see Joker, others were planning to wait until more horror films came out. How- ever, with the circulating news of Joker having the highest October opening of all time, many reconsidered skipping out on seeing the film.

“Before hearing about the open- ing, I honestly had no desire to see the movie, but now I’m actually kind of interested to see what all the hype is about,” said Deondre Little, a Hampton University cybersecurity major from Suffolk.

While this movie has been get- ting a ton of attention because of its record-breaking box office opening, it’s important to give credit to the lead ac- tor. Critics and fans have been praising Phoenix’s performance and his ability to make this villainous character seem relatable.

“I saw the movie, and I can see why it is getting all this attention, said Auburn Chandler, an HU computer science major from Atlanta. “Joker is a movie that will resonate with anyone living in society, regardless of if you have a mental illness or not.”

More often than not, R-rated movies are dulled down to a PG-13 rating or lower so that more tickets can be sold, and in doing so, more money
would be made. Warner Bros. took a risk with giving Joker an R-rating, a risk that actually paid off.

“This movie deserved the R-rating that it got,” said Quentin Davis, an HU business management major from Philadelphia. “The people in it were very mean and harsh, but then again, so are the people in the real world, so it was accurate in that sense.”

Joker manages to tackle societal issues like mental health, injustice and abuse in a very realistic manner. In Hampton, the film is playing at AMC
Hampton Town Centre 24, Cinema Café and Studio Movie Grill.

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