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'Joker' shows there's a market for 'R-rated comic book fare'

Jennifer Shanker
Production Assistant

“Joker” hit the box office this weekend and smashed October records, despite heavy controversy over the film’s depiction of violence. The movie brought in $93.5 million domestically and $234 million worldwide.

This makes “Joker” the largest opening for AT&T (T) owned Warner Brothers, and one of the biggest openings for an R-rated film this year. This bodes well for the media company, which has made a concerted effort to start working along side auteur filmmakers like Todd Phillips. JJ Abrams is the next such writer-producer in the AT&T pipeline, now that his Bad Robot production company has signed on with Warner Brothers.

Joaquin Phoenix attends the premiere for the film "Joker" in Los Angeles, California, U.S., September 28, 2019. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

“My guess is you're going to see Abrams move over more into the comic book side and really find a way to exploit the DC properties,” said Yahoo Entertainment’s Senior Writer Ethan Alter said on YFi AM this morning. Alter sees potential similarities between JJ Abrams and Marvel executive Kevin Feige. “He's had a lot of proven success with taking franchises, and property, and really reinventing it. So I could see him sort of shepherding that through.”

The market for movie-goers is evolving, and Marvel isn't the only cinematic universe dominating the box office anymore.

“And certainly more than anything, I think as you said the interim, the main thing is that this shows that there is a market for R rated comic book fare,” he said.


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