Box Office Milestone: 'Joker' Crossing $1 Billion Globally

Joker Still 2 - Warner Bros. Entertainment Publicity-H 2019
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment
Todd Phillips' subversive superhero pic stars Joaquin Phoenix.

Against all odds, Warner Bros. and Todd Phillips' R-rated Joker is about to join the billion dollar club at the worldwide box office. Its global grosses through Thursday stand at $999.1 million.

The subversive, R-rated superhero pic starring Joaquin Phoenix is also destined to generate profits of $600 million for Warners and partners Village Roadshow and Bron. The two partners each have a 25 percent stake in the film.

The movie's phenomenal run at the box office has exceeded all expectations, particularly in the U.S., where there were security concerns leading into the film's release. Domestically, it has grossed nearly $340 million, while it has cleared $820 million overseas.

Joker will be the fourth DC title to cross $1 billion, behind Aquaman ($1.15 billion), The Dark Knight Rises ($1.084 billion) and The Dark Knight ($1.005 billion), not adjusted for inflation.

And overall, it is becoming the 13th live-action comic book pic to collect $1 billion or more, even though it isn't billed as a traditional "superhero" movie. Marvel Studios/Disney titles command eight spots on the list (that doesn't include Spider-Man: Far From Home, which was produced by Marvel for Sony).

Joker had already passed up Deadpool ($783 million) to become the top-grossing R-rated pic of all time, not adjusted for inflation. (Deadpool 2's earnings were roughly $738 million before a PG-13 cut of the 2018 film brought the movie's total grosses to $785 million.)

Joker will become the sixth Warners film to lay claim to the billion-dollar milestone. In addition to Aquaman and the two Dark Knight pics, the other titles are the final Harry Potter movie ($1.34 billion) and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey ($1.02 billion), not adjusted for inflation. That number grows to seven if counting New Line's 2003 effort Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ($1.13 billion). (New Line was a sister company at the time, prior to merging with Warner Bros. in 2008).

In terms of other DC titles in the post-Christopher Nolan era, Man of Steel topped out at $668 million globally, followed by Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ($873.6 million), Suicide Squad ($746.8 million), Wonder Woman ($821.8 million) and Justice League ($657.9 million).