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Even though the traditional season of superhero films has come to a close, DC and Warner Bros.’ Joker is poised to make a pretty big debut this winter while the Marvel Cinematic Universe recharges before embarking on the beginnings of Phase Four and the more traditional DC franchise gears up for Birds of Prey. This week, in fact, it premiered at the Venice Film Festival and early reactions to the film have been swell.
In fact, the critical response as a whole has been overwhelmingly positive. Nowhere is that more evident than in the reaction to director Todd Phillips’ villainous epic when it made its official premiere in competition, which ended with an eight-minute standing ovation.
This past weekend saw Joker not only appear to be a favorite among the press on hand to cover the film, but also a big winner once it made its big unveiling to the public. Between the press conference cheers, and the shouts as the film’s official premiere came to a conclusion, the reception to this new reinterpretation of Gotham’s criminal clown has been quite spectacular.
Descriptions (via Deadline) about the response to Joker coming out of the Venice Film Festival seem to confirm that the excitement this film has generated is well-earned. Even our own Eric Eisenberg, who had a chance to see the film himself, said the Joaquin Phoenix starrer was worthy of dissection and discussion once the audience has come off of the experience.
Film festival crowds are pretty open about what they do or don’t like. Their history tells tales of movies like The Fountain getting booed, and more recently Once Upon a Time in Hollywood receiving its own standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival. So the Venice Film Festival’s crowd is only par for the course, as any movie that makes an impression will generally also make big noise.
The final push for Joker’s box office release has started, between the Venice Film Festival debut and the brand new trailer that’s been unleashed upon the world. A $60 - $90 million estimated opening weekend is the potential gain for DC’s latest entry into the world of comic books, which is pretty amazing for two reasons.
First, should Joker open toward the higher end of the equation, it has a chance of beating Venom’s record opening of $80.2 million, set only last year. Second, and probably more importantly, with an R-rating limiting its business prospects in ways that a typical comic-based film doesn’t typically face, such a potential market response could mean that we may see more edgy and ambitious one-shots from DC and Warner Bros. in the future. Should this become a going concern for those parties, there’s a chance that the comic movie market could see a new and important shakeup heading its way -- something that any incarnation of the Joker would indeed be smiling about.
Joker will be making audiences laugh until it hurts in theaters on October 4th. However, if you’re curious about what else is heading our way in theaters, take a look at the 2019 release schedule and see the other options coming down the way.