Joker held the ace card in Singapore between Oct 3 and Oct 6, collecting $1.89 million and setting a new record for the highest-ever opening-weekend box office for an NC16-rated movie here.

In the United States, the film is on a roll too.

With some cheering it on and others anxiously holding their breath, Hollywood’s latest comic book movie laughed its way to the bank over the weekend, with ticket sales of about US$93.5 million (S$129 million).

Moviegoers’ embrace of Joker came amid a debate over whether Warner was being irresponsible by releasing it, reported New York Times.

The R-rated film, starring Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker, the DC Comics villain, tells an origin story for the character, showing how his homicidal anger grew out of intense isolation and rejection.

Some worried that the movie, rather than critiquing societal issues, might instead be painting an overly sympathetic portrait of a man whose descent into brutal villainy echoes the back stories of actual mass shooters.

The movie opened without incident, though signs of audiences’ anxiety were apparent.

According to The Associated Press, a number of moviegoers left a screening in mid-town Manhattan on Friday (Oct 4) night after a man cheered and applauded on-screen murders.

Consuming what appeared to be alcohol, he reportedly spat on patrons as they left the theatre.