Mobile and online movie ticket retailer Atom Tickets reports tonight that the pre-sales for Warner Bros’ Joker are beating that of last October’s Venom, this month’s It Chapter Two as well as Us and Glass.
To date, Joker is Atom’s second best pre-sales for a R-rated movie this year behind John Wick Chapter 3 – Parabellum, which opened to $56.8 million.
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Despite all the headlines out about potential threats and theater security due to Joker‘s too-close-to-home storyline about a madman who gets hold of a gun, the Warner Bros movie has remained solid on tracking over the last two-weeks plus, with reports still seeing an $80M-plus opening that is poised to beat last year’s October opening record set by Sony’s Venom ($80.2M over three days, $90M over four days thanks to Columbas Day holiday on October 8). The comps here for Joker are a combo of PG-13- and R-rated fare including Venom, Halloween, Batman v. Superman, Suicide Squad, the It franchise, Logan, Us and John Wick 3.
Joker has everything going for it in addition to its Batman branding including the Golden Lion win at the Venice Film Festival and solid reviews at 77% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. In an August Atom Tickets poll among 1,0000 millennials, Joker was voted the second must-see movie of the post-September corridor after Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Joker is expected to open in at least 4000-plus theaters, with previews starting Thursday at 4 PM. Venom was the widest release ever for October at 4,250, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if Warners exceeds that threshold Friday. Venom began previews at 5 PM last October on its first Thursday, notching the October preview-night record with $10M at 3,543 locations.
The top openings for R-rated pics based on comic books are Deadpool ($132.4M), Deadpool 2 ($125.5M), Logan ($88.4M), 300 ($70.9M) and Watchmen ($55.2M).