Brow Beat

Joker Is on Track to Become the Highest-Grossing R-Rated Movie Ever

In a still from Joker, Joaquin Phoenix frolics in a maroon suit and clown makeup on an outdoor staircase.
Joaquin Phoenix in Joker. Niko Tavernise/Warner Bros.

Joaquin Phoenix will be laughing all the way to the top of the box office charts as Joker is poised to become the highest-grossing R-rated movie ever made. Over the weekend, the movie’s total earnings surged above $737 million, putting Joker only slightly behind The Matrix Reloaded, Deadpool, and the current record-holder, Deadpool 2, which grossed $785 million. Joker is projected to reach the $900 million mark in the coming weeks.

While this represents a small victory in the never-ending battle between DC and Marvel, there’s one person who surely has mixed feelings about the news: Zazie Beetz, who starred in both Deadpool 2 and Joker. “I think it’s funny because they are inherently completely different in terms of production and how everything came together,” she told the Hollywood Reporter earlier this year of working on two R-rated comic book movies. “One is an action comedy, and the other one is a psychological drama. […] While Deadpool is still an R-rated story, there’s a youthfulness to it that Joker doesn’t have.”

On the domestic charts, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil had a disappointing opening weekend, and Parasite continues to rake in the money despite an ultralimited release in the U.S. Think how much more money they both could’ve made if only they’d cast Beetz, too.