To date, Joker is Atom’s second best-pre-sales for a R-rated movie this year, behind John Wick Chapter 3 – Parabellum ($56.8M opening).
And despite all the headlines out there about potential threats and theater security due to Joker‘s too-close-to-home storyline about a madman who gets hold of a gun, the Warner Bros. movie has remained solid on tracking over the last two-weeks plus, with reports still seeing an $80M-plus opening that is poised to beat last year’s October opening record set by Sony’s Venom ($80.2M over 3-day, $90M over 4 days thanks to Columbas Day holiday on Oct. 8). The comps here for Joker are a combo of PG-13 and R-rated fare including Venom, Halloween, Batman v. Superman, Suicide Squad, the It franchise, Logan, Us and John Wick Chapter 3.
The pic has everything going for it in addition to its Batman branding including the Golden Lion win at the Venice film festival and solid reviews at 77% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. In an August Atom Tickets poll among 1k millennials, Joker was voted the second-must see movie of the post September corridor after Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Joker is expected to open in at least 4K-plus theaters, with previews starting Thursday at 4PM. Venom was the widest release ever for October at 4,250, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if Warners exceeds that threshold on Friday.
The top openings for R-rated pics based on comic books are Deadpool ($132.4M), Deadpool 2 ($125.5M), Logan ($88.4M), 300 ($70.9M) and Watchmen ($55.2M).