Can you imagine peeking out of your window in the Bronx and there's Joaquin Phoenix in full Joker clown makeup doing a little dance down the stairs? After thinking "WTF?" you probably wouldn't be thinking "This is going to become an iconic scene in the first R-rated movie to reach $1 billion, and possibly get Joaquin Phoenix his long overdue Oscar and turn these stairs into a tourist trap." Or maybe you would think that.
Several people must've had that experience in real-time, but only one of them taped this particular video of the stair dance. The video has now gone viral, letting fans see the dance scene from an entirely new angle -- through a murky screen as a baby gives commentary in the background. Put it on the DVD, Todd Phillips!
What would you be thinking if you saw that out your window? Presumably, the people in the vicinity of these stairs -- which connect the Bronx's Shakespeare and Anderson avenues at West 167th Street -- knew that the area was blocked off for the filming of a movie. They probably even knew that clown was Joaquin Phoenix.
We all probably have stories about movies we've seen being filmed here or there. In a city like New York, it has to be pretty common. But Joker turned out to be anything but common.
Joaquin Phoenix danced down those stairs as Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll Part 2" played on screen, and the stairs have never been the same since. You can see how crowded the stairs have become now, much to the frustration of the locals.
Joker was reportedly made on a production budget around $55 million, and as of this past weekend it has made $1,016,599,593, per Box Office Mojo. That makes Joker the most profitable comic book movie of all time. Joaquin Phoenix's salary was revealed for the movie, but you have to imagine his agent negotiated some kind of back-end deal -- and whether Phoenix cares or not his agents must be popping champagne as the money rises and rises.
(And I've asked this before, but I'll ask it again: How much is Bradley Cooper making from this? He's listed as one of the producers. I'm just curious. I know you can't tell me, but his behind-the-scenes role in this just tickles me.)
What happens from here? Well, we're heading into awards season. Joker's combination of cultural imprint and box office have given it a lot of attention, and despite the reservations of some Academy members, I have no doubt Joker will receive several Oscar nominations and probably a few wins. (And Golden Globe awards too, but ... eh?)
Nominees for the 92nd Academy Awards will be announced Monday, January 13, 2020. The Oscars 2020 will air February 9, 2020 on ABC. Always keep your phone handy to tape any future classic movie moments. It could happen at any time.