In Cole Porter’s 1934 song Anything Goes, the composer noted, “In olden days, a glimpse of stocking/Was looked on as something shocking/But now, God knows/Anything goes.”
Mr. Porter, meet Ryan Reynolds.
Mimicking the grand old Hollywood tradition of congratulating a film for beating your box office record, Reynolds added a distinctly off-color but oddly appropriate twist to his felicitations via Twitter, as Joker has become the highest-grossing R-rated film in history, topping the Reynolds-starring Deadpool and its 2018 sequel.
Joker is expected to ease past the $800 million mark this weekend, and has already blown out the previous $785 million record of Deadpool 2.
The congratulatory message is a tradition that started in 1977 when Star Wars overtook Jaws as the domestic box office champ, besties Steven Spielberg and George Lucas took out trade ads congratulating each other.
After that first ad, Lucas took one out congratulating Spielberg for E.T.’s emergence over Star Wars in 1982. But then Spielberg had a caricature of E.T. crowning R2D2 when a rerelease of the space epic overtook E.T. When Titanic beat them both in 1998, Lucas returned the favor to the newest member of this exclusive club, James Cameron, with a very colorful ad showing all the Star Wars characters going down with the ship.
Reynolds took a different and more modern approach. His proclamation featured Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker character dancing on the Bronx steps, each labeled with the films passed along the box office trail. Above it all was the message, “You mother f*cker.”
The puckish Reynods tweeted, “R-rated box office congratulatory posts aren’t like the ones you’re used to…”
Phoenix will, no doubt, eagerly await the debut of Deadpool 3.
Pete Hammond contributed to this report.