12:41pm PT by Pamela McClintock
Box Office: 'Batman: The Killing Joke' Makes a Bundle in Limited Two-Night Run
The controversial animated film Batman: The Killing Joke made a bundle in its limited two-day theatrical run, grossing $3.8 million on Monday and Tuesday night.
Warner Bros. and Fathom Events showed the movie in 1,325 theaters on Monday night, followed by an encore performance in 810 locations on Tuesday night, timed to its release on DVD and Blu-Ray.
Last week, Killing Joke caused a stir at San Diego Comic-Con when word got out that the R-rated animated adaptation of the classic graphic novel would include an expanded backstory that sees Barbara Gordon/Batgirl (Tara Strong) and Batman (Kevin Conroy) have a sexual encounter. The Joker is voiced by Mark Hamill.
In the 1988 graphic novel by writer Alan Moore and artist Brian Bolland, The Joker shoots Barbara, paralyzing her almost as soon as she appears on the page. In the film version, she's the protagonist of the story for the first 20 minutes — fighting crime and dealing with conflicting feelings about her working relationship with Batman and whether it's time to move on and leave crime-fighting behind. After a heated exchange in which she lashes out at Batman for removing her from a case, she kisses him and it's implied they have sex (though that takes place offscreen).
Despite backlash online, the movie's screening at Comic-Con went over well.
And on Monday, Killing Joke came in No. 3 with $3.2 million despite its relatively modest footprint, outpacing Lights Out ($2.9 million).
“We are thrilled with the reaction Batman: The Killing Joke has generated with fans,” Warner Bros. Home Entertainment general manager and exec vp Jeff Brown said Wednesday. “The success of the theatrical release confirms the popularity of this franchise with audiences. The film’s strong performance proves that viewers are hungry for original DC Universe animated content.”