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No joke: Joker is now the top-grossing R-rated movie of all time

By Matthew Jackson
Joker Joaquin Phoenix

Weeks after it broke box-office records with its opening weekend, Joker has officially become the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film has now hit $788.1 million globally, besting the record previously set by Deadpool, which finished its theatrical run with a worldwide box-office total of $783 million.

Joker's journey to box-office glory began with an acclaimed premiere at the Venice Film Festival, where it won the Golden Lion Award and generated early critical buzz before moving to North America with screenings at the Toronto Film Festival. Amid controversy over its dark themes in the days leading up to its release, including increased security at theaters, the film continued to build buzz right up until it hit theaters on Oct. 3 and broke a Thursday-night record

By the end of its opening weekend, Joker — directed and co-written by Todd Phillips and starring Joaquin Phoenix in the title role — boasted the biggest October opening ever, breaking the record previously set by Venom in 2018, and went on to win its second weekend, setting a pace that had experts predicting it would eventually climb past Deadpool to break the R-rated worldwide total record. Now that record is broken, and Joker is expected to cross the $800 million mark by the end of the weekend.

On Friday, Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds tweeted his rather tongue-in-cheek congratulations to the film. 

Joker's new box-office total also places it ahead of other worldwide R-rated hits like The Matrix Reloaded ($738.6 million), It ($697 million), and The Passion of the Christ ($622.3 million). It's also managed to top the cumulative total of Deadpool 2, which maxed out its R-rated earnings at $738 million before re-releasing as the PG-13 Once Upon a Deadpool to bring its overall total to $785 million.

Now, we're left to wait and see just how far the film goes before its box-office run ends. Where will it rank on the all-time list when the dust settles? Can it climb into the $1 billion range?