October 25, 2019

Joker isn't nearly done tearing through box office records.

The DC comic book film has officially become the highest-grossing R-rated movie in box office history, having grossed $788 million, The Hollywood Reporter writes. This breaks the $783 million worldwide record previously held by Deadpool, unadjusted for inflation. Deadpool 2 also grossed $785 million worldwide, but this includes a subsequent re-release.

After hitting theaters mired in controversy, Joker has been continuously impressing at the box office, getting started by shattering the record for biggest opening weekend ever for an October release. Now, it's racking up worldwide grosses on par with a major superhero action blockbuster, despite the film being a slower-paced character study in the vein of Taxi Driver, and despite not even having a release in China, where superhero films often rack up a huge chunk of change.

In fact, Joker, which reportedly cost about $60 million to make, will take in more than $400 million in profits, Deadline reports. That would make it nearly as profitable as Avengers: Infinity War, Deadline notes, a film that grossed far more but also had a significantly higher budget.

Now the question becomes whether Joker, set to surge past $800 million, can actually break $1 billion at the worldwide box office, becoming only the second non-Disney movie of the year to do so. Box office prognosticators once thought that impossible, but Warner Bros. may have the last laugh. Brendan Morrow

2:46 p.m.

White House officials aren't on the same page as top health officials.

President Trump's economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Tuesday told CNBC there was basically nothing to worry about when it comes to the coronavirus' effect on the U.S. "We have contained this. I won't say [it's] airtight, but it's pretty close to airtight," he said. He also reassured viewers that while the coronavirus may be a "human tragedy," it won't be an "economic tragedy," since there aren't any "supply disruptions" just yet.

Supply disruptions may be one thing, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nearly simultaneously warned of incoming "disruption to everyday life," saying the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S. is "not so much of a question of if" but rather "a question of when."

As CNN's Phil Mattingly put it, Kudlow's comments are "more or less, the exact opposite of what lawmakers were told in a briefing from top [Trump administration] health officials this morning." FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver seemingly agreed Kudlow's (and President Trump's) comments were misguided, tweeting it "seems very very very very risky for the Trump administration to claim coronavirus is contained in the U.S. if it later proves not to be contained."

Perhaps Kudlow realized he may have sounded a bit too optimistic, because shortly after his CNBC appearance he told reporters the possibility of further travel restrictions are "under discussion." He continued, "I'm going to wait on that. I don't want to get ahead of my skis or their skis. It's all under discussion."

Still, he insisted the U.S. is very prepared for anything the coronavirus may throw our way. "We're not going to get caught with our pants down," he predicted, per Bloomberg's Jennifer Jacobs. "The virus is not going to last forever." Harvard epidemiologists may have something to say about that. Summer Meza

2:17 p.m.

The Centers for Disease Control is warning Americans to prepare for the possibility of a severe disruption of their lives as a result of a coronavirus outbreak in the United States.

Dr. Nancy Messonnier of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases said Tuesday that the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S. is "not so much of a question of if" but rather "a question of when," The New York Times reports.

Messonnier also told Americans they should "prepare for the expectation that this might be bad," saying schools may need to use "internet-based teleschooling," business may need to use "video or telephone conferences and increase teleworking options," and communities might have to "modify, postpone, or cancel mass gatherings," CNBC reports.

"Now is the time for businesses, hospitals, communities, schools, and everyday people to begin preparing," she said. "I understand this whole situation may seem overwhelming and that disruption to everyday life may be severe. But these are things that people need to start thinking about now." Messonnier also explained that she has told her family they "ought to be preparing for significant disruption to our lives."

Health officials also briefed members of Congress about the coronavirus threat on Tuesday, after which Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said, per The Washington Post, that lawmakers were warned there's a "very strong chance of an extremely serious outbreak of the coronavirus here in the United States." More than 50 cases have been confirmed in the U.S. Meanwhile, President Trump has downplayed the threat, saying on Tuesday, "I think that whole situation will start working out." Brendan Morrow

1:06 p.m.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is on good terms with some Democratic exes.

While she can't claim to have raised thousands of dollars from ex-boyfriends, like Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) can, Warren has remained quite friendly with several ex-Democratic presidential candidates. In an interview with NBC News, Warren said she's texted nature photos with Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) shortly after he dropped out of the race, talked math with Andrew Yang, and kept in touch with former Housing Secretary Julián Castro, who has endorsed her run.

But she says Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) have particular insight into what NBC News calls the "loneliness" of the campaign trail, something Warren described as like "living in a movie that is running at high speed with everything coming so quickly."

"Kamala and Kirsten, in particular, ask me am I getting rest? Am I eating? And am I having some fun out there?" said Warren of her fellow women candidates. "It's a very personal experience to run. Running for president can be thrilling but also very lonely," she said. "The candidate stands alone."

Warren even got back in good graces with former Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) after taking him down a few pegs in one of the first debates. Delaney said her call to wish him well after he dropped out was "quite lengthy and quite in-depth" and showed "she's not entirely self-absorbed. She actually listens."

Read more about Warren's relationship with her ex-competitors at NBC News. Summer Meza

1:04 p.m.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's partner has weighed in on his company's nondisclosure agreements, and her response isn't proving to be much less controversial than his.

Bloomberg's longtime partner Diana Taylor spoke to CBS This Morning on Tuesday after the former mayor during last week's Democratic debate defended his company's nondisclosure agreements and said no women have "accused me of doing anything, other than maybe they didn't like a joke I told." Bloomberg later said he'd release three women from their NDAs signed to "address complaints about comments they said I had made," saying they were signed over the "past 30-plus years."

Taylor defended Bloomberg on Tuesday, saying he wasn't "accused of doing anything or saying something nasty to a woman" but that "I grew up in that world" and "it was a bro culture."

CBS News reports that among the women released from NDAs with Bloomberg was a former sales rep who sued the former mayor and alleged that she told him she was pregnant and he responded, "kill it."

Asked what she would say to those bothered by the allegations against Bloomberg and his recent dismissive comments about the use of nondisclosure agreements, Taylor was similarly dismissive, saying, "It was 30 years ago. Get over it."

After Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) grilled Bloomberg on this issue during the Nevada Democratic debate, don't be surprised to see it come up again during tonight's South Carolina debate, which airs at 8:00 p.m. Eastern on CBS. Brendan Morrow

11:22 a.m.

The coronavirus crisis continues, with more than 2,500 fatalities worldwide. But as NPR reports, the number of reported cases in children is surprisingly low. "We're seeing [about] 75,000 total cases at this point, but the literature is only reporting about 100 or so pediatric cases," Terri Lynn Stillwell, a pediatric infectious disease expert at Mott Children's Hospital at the University of Michigan, tells Morning Edition. One small study of infected infants in Wuhan, China, found that the virus presented as a "very mild illness," causing a fever and cough but no severe complications in the children. It's much more dangerous — and deadly — for elderly patients.

Researchers aren't sure why young children seem more resilient to the virus, but Sallie Permar, a professor of pediatrics and immunology at Duke University School of Medicine, told NPR it could come down to antibodies passed along from mothers. Jessica Hullinger

10:53 a.m.

The coronavirus outbreak has sparked plenty of infighting and finger-pointing within the Trump administration, according to a new report.

Politico on Tuesday reported that Trump officials including acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and domestic policy chief Joe Grogan have "turned their fire" on Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar as he leads the administration's coronavirus response, feeling that he "poorly coordinated the strategy, failed to escalate the potential risks to Trump and pushed for a multibillion-dollar emergency-funding request that they initially viewed as extreme."

This funding, in fact, had been a "major sticking point" between the White House and Azar before the administration ultimately sought $2.5 billion from Congress on Monday, Politico writes. In response, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called the administration's request "long overdue" but "completely inadequate to the scale of this emergency," NBC News reports.

Additionally, Politico reports, there was "finger-pointing and second-guessing for days" after 14 Americans with coronavirus were evacuated from a cruise ship recently. Amid all this consternation, Politico writes at least two of Azar's allies are now "worried that the secretary's job is at risk if the coronavirus response goes poorly."

Speaking of worrying, Trump allies and advisers are reportedly fearful of how a "botched" response to the coronavirus could affect the economy, although Trump himself continues to downplay the crisis, tweeting on Monday that "the coronavirus is very much under control in the USA." Brendan Morrow

10:17 a.m.

President Trump took aim at two Supreme Court Justices on Tuesday, calling on them to recuse themselves from "anything having to do with Trump."

Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote a strongly-worded dissent in response to the court's decision to allow the Trump administration's "public charge" immigration rule in Illinois, which restricts immigrants who may rely on public benefits from gaining legal status. To Trump, their dissent in the case amounted to proof of anti-Trump bias.

"I just don't know how they cannot recuse themselves to anything having to do with Trump or Trump related," he told reporters while in India, reports CNBC. He also tweeted along the same lines, accusing Sotomayor of "trying to 'shame'" fellow Justices into voting along with her.

Trump also referenced a 2016 instance when Ginsburg called Trump a "faker," before he was the Republican presidential nominee. She later apologized. After his Monday night tweets, Trump continued his tirade on Tuesday, calling Sotomayor's dissent "inappropriate" and "terrible." Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law President Kristen Clarke called Trump's comments "outrageous," explaining that Sotomayor and Ginsburg's dissent was a fair argument, and declaring the call for recusal "absurd."

As CNBC notes, the Supreme Court will soon hear arguments on other Trump administration cases, including cases on whether Trump can continue to withhold his financial records from Congress. Summer Meza

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