LOS ANGELES, (Variety.com) – Warner Bros.’ “Joker” laughed its way to a new record at the domestic box office.
Despite mounting controversy and security concerns, the R-rated comic-book movie scored $93.5 million over the weekend and now stands as the biggest October launch of all time. Those ticket sales easily crushed the benchmark previously set last year by Sony’s superhero tentpole “Venom” with $80 million.
Directed by Todd Phillips and starring Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker” has been the subject of scrutiny in weeks leading up to its release over fears that the disturbing origin story of Batman’s infamous foe could inspire violence. However, those anxieties didn’t deter moviegoers from turning out en masse to see what all the fuss was about.
“Joker” has inspired waves of headlines over apprehensions that its depiction of a mentally ill assassin could incite violence, prompting movie theaters across the country to take extra security precautions. New York and…
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