Record returns for “Joker” have the movie’s backers laughing their way to the bank, but the studio that made the film, Warner Bros., could have reaped even bigger profits if it hadn’t unloaded a substantial share of the film to outside investors, according to people familiar with terms of the film’s financing.
On Thursday, the movie became the top-grossing R-rated film of all time after reaching a total of $788.3 million world-wide, according to Warner Bros., a unit of AT&T Inc. The previous record of $782.6 million was…
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