Last week Todd Philips, the director of Joker, made a comparison between his film and the popular, and violent, John Wick franchise. While the two movies certainly have a lot of differences between them, both John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum and Joker are two R-rated movies from 2019 that had, and have, a lot of anticipation behind them, but which was the more in-demand film? Based on ticket pre-sales it looks like John Wick is edging out Joker, but only just.
According to Atom Tickets, Joker has the second most ticket pre-sales for an R-rated movie for this year, at this point before release. It’s trailing John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, but is tracking ahead of other popular R-rated movies this year like IT: Chapter Two, and Us.
That’s a pretty solid place to be at this point. Joker is in a weird place as a movie as it’s a story about a popular [comic book character](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joker_(character), but it’s being told in a completely new and original way. It’s a movie that might not appeal to those that generally go see modern comic book movies, while also turning off other audiences because it is technically still a comic book movie. However, enough people are excited about to put it number two in pre-sales behind the number 10 movie of the year at the domestic box office.
Joker is also doing better in ticket pre-sales right now than Venom, a movie that wasn’t rated-R, but was the major wide release film hitting theaters on the first weekend of October last year. Venom went on to be a massive box office hit, and the same could certainly be the case for Joker.
There are so many eyes on Joker for a lot of different reasons. First, it’s the first DC movie to be clearly separated from the DC film universe since the concept was established following Man of Steel. It’s also being talked about not only as a comic book movie box office hit, but also a potential awards season contender. Finally, there are the issues of theme and violence that Joker deals with. While most people haven’t seen the movie yet, there’s a fear that it glorifies its violence and makes the Joker look like a hero.
One thing that’s clear is that, while Joker might not be pre-selling tickets quite as fast as other movies, there’s no film being talked about more right now. Joker is going to be the movie that fans and critics pick apart and once everybody has seen it that conversation, for good or ill, will truly begin. Certainly, people who want to know what everybody else is talking about are going to one to grab those opening weekend tickets. Even if people aren’t so excited to need to pre-order tickets, expect Joker to still be a huge movie this weekend.