BY WILL PESEK
On Oct. 4, the movie “Joker” was released to theaters, breaking numerous records.
“Joker” was directed by Todd Phillips and stars Joaquin Phoenix as the main character, who is the villain in DC comics.
Set in 1981, the movie is based on the story of Arthur Fleck, known as the “Joker,” who goes from being a failed comedian to an infamous psychopath. Throughout the film, Fleck is rejected by society mainly because of his job as a clown at the company “Ha-Ha’s”.
According to Warner Brothers, “Joker” sold about $93.5 million in domestic tickets on its opening weekend. The movie made an additional $140.5 million overseas.
The film has generated buzz around campus, coaxing students to see the movie.
“Every person I spoke to during opening week told me that the movie was a must-see. So I went out to see it, and it was amazing,” said sophomore Sarah Lindskog.
Despite its success, there has been controversy surrounding the film. Audience members felt it provoked violence, causing movie theaters to ban certain costumes and masks from theaters.
Leading up to the release of “Joker,” the F.B.I. warned of online threats, adding to the fear that movie screenings might be targeted with violence.
This is due to the shooting that killed 12 people in Aurora, Colo., in 2012 when the film “The Dark Knight Rises” was released, which is based on the same Batman comics that “Joker” was sourced from.
Some movie critics and potential audience members were concerned this controversy was going to negatively impact the box office, but that was not the case.
“The ‘Joker’ is the new standard for thrillers. It keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very end,” said sophomore Frank Riccio.
Joaquin Phoenix has defended the movie, and trusts that the audience members will know that the movie does not show what’s right in society.
“I do think that the audience should be challenged and they should be able to know the difference between right and wrong. I don’t think it’s the filmmaker’s responsibility to teach morality,” Phoenix said in an interview with The Associated Press.
Many students admired Phoenix’s portrayal of the villain.
“Joaquin Phoenix’s performance was spectacular, he sold the part entirely and his weird physique made him truly eerie,” said Riccio. “I would 100% recommend this movie to people who are interested, but it is very gory and bloody,” said Riccio.
Some potential viewers have been turned away from “Joker” as they prefer Marvel Universe films.
“Marvel is my favorite because it has better live-action movies and some really classic characters,” said sophomore Andrew Cizmarik.
“Joker” also stars Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Marc Maron, Frances Conroy, Josh Pais, Brett Cullen, Shea Whigham and Bill Camp.
After the opening night movie screenings, it received a B+ CinemaScore, and continues to break box office records.
“Joker is such a cool villain character, and this focused more on him than Batman. People really get to see the true definition of the Joker and how he actually became the Joker,” said Lindskog.
As of Oct. 16, the film has grossed a total of $606.7 million internationally.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.