With a record $96 million at the domestic boxoffice and $248 million worldwide, Warner Bros. Joker clearly triumphed in theaters this weekend, but how did it do with Oscar voters? In the kind of early-October release slot the studio has used successfully to launch such boxoffice and awards magnets as A Star Is Born, Argo and The Departed, to name a few, there clearly are hopes that this film can land a number of nominations come Oscar time. And that was only amplified when the Todd Phillips-directed film — controversial for the very dark places it goes and uncomfortable realities of todays society it reflects — won the top award at the Venice Film Festival last month, recently a harbinger of good things at the Academy Awards. Last years winner Roma went on to 10 nominations and three Oscars, while the 2017 winner, The Shape of Water was the eventual Best Picture champ.
So how did the Academy respond? Joker was shown to membership on Saturday night at the Academys Samuel Goldwyn Theatre with an estimated turnout of around 700 (perhaps a bit less), I am told by two different members who were there. That isnt a turnaway for the 1,000-plus-seat house, as some highly anticipated films get, but it certainly is respectable considering Joker isnt exactly the kind of film this group usually embraces. Reaction, at least from what I heard, was mixed, which is not surprising since it mirrors critical response now sitting at 69% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. It got a B+ from moviegoers according to CinemaScore.
One member with no connection to the film emailed: “Turnout was very good and reaction was as well. About three quarters full. Maybe 700. There were several walkouts, though. Good applause at the end. Good applause. Including for the tech credits including Cinematographer.” Another told me many of the older members did not like it, but it seemed like a younger crowd than usual with one particular section delivering strong applause at the end credits. Another older member I spoke with said she had a hard time getting anyone to go with her, but that the person who did accompany her felt the movie made some “salient points” about mental illness. Her opinion, on the other hand, was less generous, calling the applause at end credits “tepid” and said the trailer for the Student Academy Awards shown before the film rolled got a bigger hand. She said she didnt like the film beRead More – Source