Joker breaks box office records
That old adage about there being no such thing as bad publicity? That's certainly true for Joker.
Despite a storm of negative press attention over the comic book movie's treatment of violence and mental illness, Joker has gone on to break several box office records.
The most impressive is that it absolutely destroyed the record for biggest October international opening of all time after it collected a cool $346.71 million ($US234 million), according to The Hollywood Reporter. The previous record holder was Venom at $US127.2 million.
Before the movie opened, Joker was tracking to gross $US200 million at the global box office.
In Australia, it was the biggest movie of the week with a box office total of $9.75 million across 556 screens. Locally, it was also the biggest ever October debut.
In North America, Joker raked in $138.4 million ($US93.5 million), leading it to become the biggest domestic (US and Canada) October opening of all time, also beating Venom.
It was also the biggest October opening for Imax and career-best openings for Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro and director Todd Phillips.
Traditionally, October isn't a big month at the box office, sitting between the US summer blockbuster season and before prominent award season movies are released.
Joker is a movie about the origin story of Batman villain Joker, and charts his transformation from downtrodden man to sociopathic murderer.
Initially after its premiere, it won the Venice Film Festival's top prize but has since generated mixed reviews as it rolled out around the world.
Many critics praised Phoenix's performance while others labelled the movie as grim and derivative.
Joker has been a lightning rod of controversy over fears the movie could spark mass shootings in the US, partly linked to the 2012 killings at a Colorado movie theatre during a screening of Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises.
American military personnel were told to be the lookout during Joker screenings after "dark web chatter" while undercover police officers have been posted to cinemas across the US.
On Thursday night, a cinema in California cancelled remaining sessions that day after receiving a "credible threat".
Elsewhere, Australian movie Ride Like a Girl has passed Storm Boy to become the highest grossing Australian film of 2019 so far.
The Michelle Payne biopic, directed by Rachel Griffiths, has raked in $5.3 million at box office after two weeks in release.
Share your movies and TV obsessions | @wenleima