Joaquin Phoenix’s “Joker” scored a record $13.3 million on Thursday night in North America.
The figure is above the $10 million in previews that was earned a year ago by “Venom,” which posted an $80 million opening weekend — both records for October. 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.
The previews began at 4 p.m.
The R-rated “Joker” is directed by Todd Phillips from a screenplay he wrote with Scott Silver about a failed stand-up comedian who becomes a psychopathic criminal. Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Bill Camp and Marc Maron also star. Concerns have been raised about the violence-laden film glamorizing a mass killer. New York and Los Angeles police are deploying officers to theaters screening the film this weekend.