Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Warner Bros.' "Joker" topped the October opening-weekend box office record, bringing in $93.5 million despite security concerns over the film's violent themes, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The big picture: The film received stellar praise during its film festival debuts but sparked a backlash from some critics over whether its portrayal of the Batman series' villain — an outcast with a neurological deficit who becomes a mass murderer — could inspire violence. Most notably, families of the victims of the 2012 shooting at a screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" in Aurora, Colorado — another Batman film — penned a letter to the studio citing concerns about the film.

  • "Joker" will not be shown at the Aurora theater. Movie theaters throughout the nation have heightened their security measures, with the New York Police Department deploying undercover officers at screenings in the city.
  • The FBI also said it was monitoring online activity in response to the film and has encouraged citizens "to remain vigilant and to promptly report suspicious activity to law enforcement,” according to a spokesperson.

What they're saying: "Neither the fictional character Joker, nor the film, is an endorsement of real-world violence of any kind," Warner Bros. wrote in a statement obtained by WSJ.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 19,680,042 — Total deaths: 727,777 — Total recoveries — 11,962,565Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 5,002,523 — Total deaths: 162,455 — Total recoveries: 1,643,118 — Total tests: 61,080,587Map.
  3. Politics: Nancy Pelosi says states don't have the funds to comply with Trump's executive order on employment — Trump adviser Larry Kudlow says he regrets suggesting the benefits could only be extended by Congress.
  4. Public health: Fauci says chances are "not great" that COVID-19 vaccine will be 98% effective — Poll: 1 in 3 Americans would decline COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Schools: Nine test positive at Georgia school where photo showing packed hallway went viral — How back-to-school is playing out in the South as coronavirus rages on — Princeton, Johns Hopkins, Howard to hold fall classes online.