You can tell a movie is incredibly successful when its influence extends past the box office. Case in point, ever since Joker hit theaters earlier this month, many fans who enjoyed the flick have flocked to The Bronx to visit the stairs Joaquin Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck danced down after he embraced becoming The Clown Prince of Crime.
On the off chance you didn’t believe these stairs have become a tourist trap following Joker’s release, here’s a video to really hammer home its popularity.
The Bronx is already home to popular destinations like The Bronx Zoo, Yankee Stadium and the New York Botanical Gardens, but this staircase could be added to the list of locales to visit in the area. Connecting the Shakespearean and Anderson Avenues at West 167th Street, these stairs once weren’t particularly notable, but after that footage of Joaquin Phoenix dancing down them in clown makeup was released to the public, and especially after Joker arrived in theaters, that’s changed.
Thanks to this video from GravitysEnemy, you can see a bunch of people hanging out at the stairs, with a few of them even costumed Joker-style, much to the dismay of the person recording the video. As noted in earlier reports, the influx of these Joker fans has been a source of annoyance for nearby residents, as naturally they need to actually trudge up or down those stairs for everyday life, as opposed to simply posing on them.
Alas, with Joker’s continued success, it’s a good bet the Bronx inhabitants will have to keep putting up with people visiting that staircase either to just hang out or reenact Arthur Fleck’s time dancing his heart out on them. Even once the movie leaves theaters, I wouldn’t be surprised if that staircase continues to attract numerous fans, even though the crowd size has to diminish at some point.
In any case, this is just indicative of just how Joker has penetrated the public consciousness. The movie was already generating conversation ahead of its wide release for the kind of social commentary it would deliver, but since coming out on the evening of October 3, it’s made over $738 million worldwide, making it the fourth highest-grossing R-rated movie ever at the time of this writing.
Critically speaking, Joker has earned mixed-to-positive reception, but Joaquin Phoenix’s performance and other elements will surely put it in contention for the forthcoming awards season. And if you happen to be in The Bronx, feel free to tell Joker fans what you thought of the movie while visiting those now-iconic stairs.