Movie-math can be a fickle mistress as what is seen on paper is seldom the reality of the situation. At the start of 2019, before the release of the both these movies, the situation was such that Marvel ruled the roost with a string of massive success in the form of 'Black Panther'(2018), 'Captain Marvel'(2019) and of course part one of the Infinity saga 'Avengers: Infinity War'.
Warner Bros., on the other hand, was struggling after the dismal box office performance of 2017's 'Justice League' and 'Shazam'(2019) receiving great reviews but failing to make an impression.
A fledgling universe, on the brink of annihilation
The only success for the DCEU (The DC Cinematic Universe) was the standalone 'Wonder Woman'(2017) and the Jason Mamoa starring 'Aquaman'(2018). Little did they know that the fate of the DC movies was to change forever with the release of 'Joker'. The film, helmed by the 'Hangover' trilogy director Todd Philips with acclaimed actor Joaquin Phoenix was considered a huge gamble considering its 'R' Rating and dark subject matter.
Unlike, other movies of the comic book genre featuring benevolent superheroes, with the exception of Deadpool, who is an 'anti-hero', making a film revolving around Batman's greatest foe Joker, without Batman in the film, was seen as a recipe for disaster.
Despite the trailer for the film receiving a lot of love and attention, many analysts felt that it's 'R' rating and the villain-centric story would act as a major impediment at the box office. To add insult to injury, the film even before its theatrical release became a victim of 'clickbait' article online with media outlets decrying it as 'dangerous and 'irresponsible'.
The number of think pieces predicting that the release of the film would lead to mass shooting and violence was too much to count as it seemed things weren't looking too good for the clown prince of crime
'Endgame' demolished records
Subsequently, after 'Endgame's' release in April last year, it smashed box office records set by all blockbusters that came before it -- racing to the top of the highest-grossing list with an unthinkable gross of US$2.798 billion.
The Marvel fever was at its peak throughout the year with many analysts waiting with bated breaths to see the film dethrone 2009's 'Avatar', which it did.
Months rolled by and October comes along and against everyone's better judgment -- Joker is a massive success giving Warner Bros. it's footing back in the market. The film would break the box office records for the month of October and would hold steady for the following months- ending with a total gross of US $1.063 billion.
'Joker' vs 'Endgame'
Another reason the film's success is commendable is the fact that unlike Endgame, it didn't get to release in China- an important market for Hollywood movies in the current age. Critics praise the film for bringing something new to the comic-book genre while fans hailed it as the best movie in the genre since Nolan's 'The Dark Knight' back in 2008.
When the dust settled, we saw that as a project, 'Joker' was more profitable for the parent studio more than 'Endgame. Joker was made on a budget of US$ 70 Million and at a fraction of the marketing cost employed on 'Endgame'.
'Endgame' was also massive production costing Disney nearly $US 400 Million to make, with the marketing costs not included. Warner Bros. is certainly pleased with their gutsy decision of making the film as it turned out it be their biggest success to date.