On Friday, Warner Bros.’ “Joker” will become the first R-rated movie in history to earn more than $1 billion at the global box office.

“This film, as envisioned by Todd Phillips and performed by Joaquin Phoenix is an incredibly dark, hard R-rated adventure that does not attract a wide audience, so I think you’re looking at a couple of really interesting reasons as to why,” Variety senior film writer Matt Donnelly explains. “Most of all, because ‘Joker’ takes place in a world of a really gritty, independent film.”

Joaquin Phoenix’s turn as the Joker marks the seventh movie in 2019 to hit the billion-dollar mark. The film is only the fourth from Warner Bros. to reach said milestone, coming after “Aquaman,” “The Dark Knight” and “The Dark Knight Rises.” Given its modest budget — $62.5 million — “Joker” is the most profitable comic book film to date.

Despite the film’s box office success, critics remain divided about the controversial “Joker.” Todd Phillips directs with Robert De Niro and Zazie Beetz starring in addition to Phoenix.

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