In spite of considerable controversy surrounding the film's release, Warner Brothers film "Joker" appears set to smash the previous record for an October opening weekend, according to Variety.
The Joaquin Phoenix-led film raked in a reported $93.5 million on its opening weekend, shattering the previous record for an October release of $80 million, which was set last year by Sony's "Venom," starring Tom Hardy.
The film's opening comes despite warnings from various law enforcement agencies regarding potential security threats at movie screenings.
The film also came under fire from anti-gun groups, in particular from the families of the victims of the Aurora, Colorado, mass shooting, which occurred during a screening of "The Dark Knight Rises." Initial reports claimed that the shooter had referred to himself as "The Joker" in some of his writings, but this subsequently turned out not to be true.
Controversy about gun violence associated with the film reached such a fever pitch that director Todd Phillips lashed out at "far left" groups who were stirring controversy about the film, and Warner Brothers was eventually forced to restrict press access at the premiere event to photographers only.
The film currently has a critics' score of 69% on Rotten Tomatoes, with many of the critics giving the film a negative review because of its perceived social irresponsibility.
In spite of the controversy and relatively tepid critical reception, however, the movie has a 91% audience score at Rotten Tomatoes, and the massive opening weekend box office haul suggests that the film's critics may have overplayed their hand, or at the very least misread the extent to which the public shares their outrage.