With a profit-to-budget ratio of over 15 to one, ‘Joker’ has now indisputably claimed the crown of most successful film birthed from comic book lore according to Forbes.
The banal, derivative Marvel films that seem to dominate the box office every year using the “must consume next product!” formula are no longer the benchmark for comic book franchise success, as ‘Joker’ now reigns supreme as the most profitable comic book film of all time.
With $304.2 million in North America after five weeks in theaters, Joker’s new global cume is around $953 million. Presuming its 32% domestic/68% overseas split holds, then it will have a new global cume of around $957 million by tonight. That will be 15.3x its $62.5 million production budget, which will make the Todd Phillips-directed and Joaquin Phoenix-starring drama more profitable, in terms of budget versus global gross, than Jim Carrey’s The Mask ($351 million on a $23 million budget in 1994).
In layman’s terms, this means ‘the film Marvel couldn’t make’ is now the biggest underdog box office story in cinema history:
That means DC Films and Warner Bros.’ Joker is the most profitable comic book movie of all time. In a skewed way, Joker represents every studio’s dream, in that it’s a mid-budget, 2-D title that’s pulling top-tier blockbuster business without relying on China. That it happens to be an R-rated psychological drama is a bonus of sorts, as it’s the third-cheapest $900 million grosser of all time after Bohemian Rhapsody ($905 million on a $52 million budget) and The Lion King ($968 million on a $55 million budget in 1994). When it tops $1 billion worldwide in the next week or so, it’ll be the cheapest movie to do so, with a budget just under the $63 million spent by Jurassic Park back in 1993.
National File has already reported on the numerous records set by ‘Joker,’ including the nine records it smashed in its opening weekend, and its claim to the throne of highest R-Rated box office take of all time.
The success of ‘Joker’ has been attributed to many things, including its gritty Scorcese-esque tone, Joaquin Phoenix’s memorable performance, and the masterful portrayal of the struggles downtrodden men can face living in a society.