Joker, the gritty spin on the classic Batman villain, set a new record at the October box office.
Despite criticism over the Warner Bros. release’s violent themes, the film earned an estimated $93.5 million in North American theaters, according to Comscore.
With its massive take, the Todd Phillips-directed thriller starring Joaquin Phoenix surpassed industry expectations, and beat the previous October record held by Spider-Man spinoff Venom, which opened last year to $80.2 million.
Amid the Joker controversy, some theater chains banned costumes and police departments stepped up patrols around movie houses. Still, the security concerns didn’t stop fans from snapping up tickets.
Elsewhere at the box office, last weekend’s leader Abominable slipped to second place with $12 million, and Downton Abbey took third with $8 million.
The Jennifer Lopez-led stripper drama Hustlers came in fourth place with $6.3 million. Rounding out the top five was It: Chapter Two, which scared up another $5.4 million.