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Joker Sets a Record in Previews

Film has wide opening today
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 4, 2019 4:40 PM CDT
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This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Joaquin Phoenix in a scene from "Joker," in theaters on Oct. 4.   (Niko Tavernise/Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)

(Newser) – Previews for Joker set an October record on Thursday night, bringing in $13.3 million. The Joaquin Phoenix film will be shown at 4,374 North American theaters on Friday, Deadline reports, another record for the month. Venom raked in $10 million last October. The film tells the dark story of a loser of a comedian who turns to crime and killing, and fears that it will inspire violence have led theaters to increase security and issue warnings. Interest in the film seems to have only increased, and 70 percent of the audience Thursday night was male, per the Hollywood Reporter. Many theaters checked IDs for the R-rated film to ensure patrons not with their parents were at least 17. One theater in Texas posted a warning online: "Joker is Rated R and for good reason. There’s lots of very, very rough language, brutal violence, and overall bad vibes."

The interest and the wide release have Joker lined up for a potentially record-setting opening weekend, per Variety, in the $80 million to $95 million. In addition, September was strong for films, though box office for the year is about 5% below last year's take. (Critics like Joaquin Phoenix more than the film.)

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