Home Entertainment Joker is now the most profitable comic book movie ever

Joker is now the most profitable comic book movie ever

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If you ever thought that Warner Bros.’s plan for a gritty, R-rated take on a Batman villain was a bad idea, well the joke is most definitely on you now. Writer/director Todd Phillips’ Joker has already been breaking records as it overtook Deadpool to become the highest-earning R-rated film of all time. Now the film has claimed one more title and it may be the most impressive one yet. According to Forbes, Joker has now officially become the most profitable comic book movie ever.

On Friday, the Joaquin Phoenix-led film crossed $956 million, meaning that it has a 15.3x multiplier on its $62.5 million production budget. That pushes it past previous record-holder The Mask which earned $351 million on a $23 million budget in 1994. Avengers: Endgame may be the biggest film of all time with its $2.798 billion global tally, but with an estimated production of $356 million that only gives it a 7.8x multiplier.

Other notable comic book movie makers that Joker has now leapfrogged include Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ($200 million from $13.5 budget = 14.7x multiplier), Deadpool ($783 million from $58 million budget = 13.5x multiplier), Batman ($411 million from $35 million budget = 11.7x multiplier), and Venom ($854 million from $90 million budget = 94x multiplier).

On top of this achievement for Joker, this weekend past saw the film climb to an overall worldwide total of $985 million. At this point, it’s all but inevitable that the film will reach the $1 billion mark in the coming week or so, and when it does it will become the cheapest film to ever do so. This milestone was previously owned by Steven Spielberg’s original Jurassic Park which earned $1.029 billion off a $63 million budget in 1993.

Joker has thus far exceeded all box office expectations, especially impressive given that it’s an R-rated adult drama that didn’t use the extra income from 3D ticket prices to push up its numbers like most of its comic book blockbuster contemporaries. It didn’t even need China, the world’s second-biggest movie market, and it will soon overtake The Dark Knight ($1.004 billion) to become the highest-grossing film to not release in the key Asian market. Joker is very much laughing all the way to the bank!

Last Updated: November 11, 2019

59 Comments

  1. It didn’t even need China

    That’s amazing

    Reply

    • Son of Banana Jim

      November 11, 2019 at 09:30

      Do they really need China? All pandering to China has done is create weakened or censored piles of mass produced garbage. If China wants in, it needs to put on its big boy pants.

      But of course, Hollywood desperately wants that lucrative Chinese investment money. I mean who else would fund an all-female Rambo?

      Reply

      • Hammersteyn

        November 11, 2019 at 09:45

        China has a massive market and their government only allows a certain amount of foreign movies every year. Fortunately they didn’t need China with the movie being on the cheap side to make but if it did show in China it would’ve made so much more.

        Reply

        • Son of Banana Jim

          November 11, 2019 at 10:12

          There lies the conundrum, China does have a potential (over a) 1 billion bums for seats, and when a fraction show up a movie that’s failing in the US could be saved at the box office, but I still wonder at what cost?

          It was cool to see a Chinese hero in the Pacific Rim movies, but when last have we seen an American movie with a brutal and honest take on China. I miss when action movies had something to say, even if it was dumb American propaganda, which I find less offensive than the current crap of “Uncle Jinping is such a good guy”.

          Back in the 80s, the bad guys were Russian, Iranian or from South America… And we loved it. I even miss the anti-war, anti-government fare of the late naughties… Or the bleak war-crazed nihilism of the Bush years.

          What have we to show these days? Crappy Disney Star Wars fan fiction? More marvel movies that stink? More Mellisa McCarthy? By the gaming gods, give me something with balls…

          ?

          Reply

          • Hammersteyn

            November 11, 2019 at 10:12

            American propaganda indeed, Rambo 3 came out when the Soviet–Afghan War
            was coming to an end. Luckily we have Deadpool as well. Can’t wait to see what part Melissa McCarthy plays in the next SW trilogy

      • Son of Banana Jim

        November 11, 2019 at 10:12

        Actually….

        Rumba (a tale of a sassy divorced hairdresser who goes to Mexico to find love… And an Ak 47) should be made.

        Melissa McCarthy is Rumba!!!

        Reply

  2. Yozzie

    November 11, 2019 at 09:29

    So many multipliers you would think EA actually made a new Skate.

    Reply

  3. Darren Peach

    November 11, 2019 at 10:04

    It goes without out saying…..but I believe there was a little er hysteria…surrounding the wider media and claims that this movie was a call to arms for the army of incels out there.

    Reply

  4. Pariah

    November 11, 2019 at 09:01

    Title is a bit misleading. Most profitable to me goes by the actual amount, not by the ratio – which I’ve honestly never seen used before.

    Reply

    • Weanerdog

      November 11, 2019 at 11:42

      Yeah, bullshit clickbait by Forbes (and by extension here). It’s best Return on investment. But it’s not even taking the full investment into account.

      Reply

    • Kervyn Cloete

      November 11, 2019 at 10:41

      I see and perfectly understand the quibble about the semantics. But I’m hoping that the article at least explained itself enough.

      Reply

      • Pariah

        November 11, 2019 at 10:41

        Yeah hence “a bit”. I saw the title and thought “no chance”, but the article did clarify. I still think it’s weird phrasing, but there’s no mistaking that it has the highest profit ratio.

        Reply

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