Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow’s Joker laughed its way to $39.9 million on Friday at 4,374 theaters. $3.5 million of the total came from 392 IMAX theaters. The film is on track to set a new October opening record, which is currently held by Sony Pictures’ Venom with $80.3 million. Venom grossed $32.5 million its first day.
The Todd Phillips-directed movie kicked off its run with $13.3 million at Thursday previews (which is included in the Friday total), a new October previews record topping Venom‘s $10 million from October 2018.
The film received a B+ CinemaScore from audiences and 64% of the audience was male. Audience members between 25 to 35 years old gave it an A- CinemaScore.
Internationally, Joker took in $32.7 million on Friday from 73 markets and the overseas total is up to $57.2 million.
The film stars Oscar nominee Joaquin Phoenix in the title role, alongside Oscar winner Robert De Niro, and it is directed, produced and co-written by Oscar nominee Todd Phillips. The plot centers around the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone story not seen before on the big screen. Phillips’ exploration of Arthur Fleck (Phoenix), a man disregarded by society, is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale.
The film also stars Zazie Beetz (Deadpool 2), Bill Camp (Red Sparrow, Molly’s Game), Frances Conroy (American Horror Story, Castle Rock), Brett Cullen (42, Narcos), Glenn Fleshler (Billions, Barry), Douglas Hodge (Red Sparrow, Penny Dreadful), Marc Maron (Maron, Glow), Josh Pais (upcoming Motherless Brooklyn, Going in Style), and Shea Whigham (upcoming First Man, Kong: Skull Island).
Phillips (The Hangover trilogy) directed from a screenplay he co-wrote with writer Scott Silver (The Fighter), based on characters from DC Comics. The film was produced by Phillips and Bradley Cooper under their Joint Effort banner, and Emma Tillinger Koskoff. It is executive produced by Richard Baratta, Michael Uslan, Joseph Garner and Bruce Berman.
The MPA gave the film an R rating for “strong bloody violence, disturbing behavior, language and brief sexual images.”