Joker had come out to be a box office phenomenon, and it has opened up the idea of DC branching out of an established continuity like Marvel. What's interesting is, word has come out that WB didn't have faith in the project at all, and they purposely cut the budget to discourage director Todd Phillips from making the movie.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, WB head Toby Emmerich was ‘not a fan of the project' and hoped that the movie wouldn't get made. THR writes:
Film studio chief Emmerich was not a fan of the project; it was defended by worldwide marketing president Blair Rich, who was recently pushed out. Emmerich lowballed on the budget to discourage director Todd Phillips from making it, and when the filmmaker persisted, sold off half the movie.
Despite the low faith in the film, Joker was still a box office success, and a lot of people have been celebrating the dark and gritty take on the comic book genre. Personally, I thought the film was alright, but it is nice to get some other kind of comic book film in theaters besides the formulaic Marvel ones that DC is trying to duplicate.
For now, WB is in the hot seat with the rest of Hollywood thanks to their move to put out films in HBO Max the same day they hit theaters. Personally, I don't know much about the economics to make an informed opinion on the matter, but a lot of people—like Tenet director Christopher Nolan—sure are pissed.
WB is set to release Wonder Woman 1984 in theaters and HBO Max on December 25.