One of the biggest success stories in Hollywood this year has been “Joker.” The origin story of the legendary Batman villain starring Joaquin Phoenix has raked in a whopping $1 billion at the global box office. This would be an astounding total under any circumstances. However, what makes this total even more incredible is the fact that the film is rated R. This means that no children were allowed to buy a ticket to see the film unless they had a parent with them. Warner Bros. wanted to make the film PG-13 so that all those young Batman fans would be able to see it on their own. Director Todd Phillips fought the studio on this and they eventually caved in.
In the wake of the huge success that “Joker” has enjoyed around the world, DC is going to be making more comic book movies that have an R rating. This makes sense because “Joker” proves that audiences will turn out in droves to see an R-rated movie. The content is what will determine the success or failure of a movie. An R rating will not prevent people from going. By releasing comic book movies that are made for a mature audience, DC and Warner Bros. will be able to set themselves apart from the non-threatening PG-13 films that are churned out by Disney and Marvel.
It is not clear at this time which upcoming DC films will get an R rating. There have been some rumors that next year’s “Birds of Prey” could have that distinction. However, there has been nothing from Warner Bros. to confirm this as of yet. James Gunn is already hard at work on the next installment of the “Suicide Squad” franchise. Considering the story of the film, this seems like a likely target for a R rating. Once again, there has been no confirmation from the studio about any future ratings.
There is a new Batman movie in the works that will star Robert Pattinson as the caped crusader. If this film gets an R rating, it will be the first Batman film to have more than a PG-13. It would seem unlikely that DC and Warner Bros. would prevent kids from buying tickets to a Batman movie by allowing it to be rated R. However, “Joker” making $1 billion will most certainly have changed the attitudes of the execs working at the legendary studio.