It looks like the ‘Joker‘ is set to have a record breaking opening weekend. The movie, starring the talented Joaquin Phoenix, had its Thursday night previews last night, and it made a record-breaking $13.3 million.
The total is $3.3 million more than the previous record for October, held by Venom, which ended up making $80 million during its opening weekend.
It’s the biggest preview number since ‘The Lion King’ pulled in $23 million in July and portends a potential record opening. ‘Joker’ has been forecast for a similarly massive debut in the $80 million to $95 million range from 4,374 North American theaters for Warner Bros.
And after Thursday night, it looks like the total could be closer to $100 million.
The film split critics. Some called it one of the greatest movies of the year, while others thought it was dangerous and could lead to more mass shootings.
The audience doesn’t appear to be as split though. The early reports have been overwhelmingly positive online. It has an incredibly high 9.2 rating on IMDb, and a 93% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, versus a 69% rating from critics.
With positive word of mouth driving it forward, I expect to see an opening weekend very close to $100 million.[mashshare]