‘Deadpool’ not only conquered the Box Office this weekend, the R-rated comic book flick broke records as the biggest February opening ever, the best R-rated opening ever (topping ‘The Matrix: Reloaded’) and the biggest Presidents Day Weekend opening ever (besting last spring’s ’50 Shades of Grey’). ‘Deadpool‘ also marks the highest-grossing debut for a first-time feature director for Tim Miller, who helmed the project. And to top it all off, ‘Deadpool’ is a spinoff of Fox’s ‘X-Men’ franchise… and beat all previous ‘X-Men’ film openings. So take that, Wolverine!
It doesn’t stop there. Lest we forget, prior to shifting to Disney, the first six ‘Star Wars’ movies were produced by 20th Century Fox. Yeah, ‘Deadpool’ beat those, too. But the movie didn’t slay all comers. ‘Deadpool’ ranks as “only” the seventh biggest comic book movie opening, behind the two ‘Avengers’ movies, the second and third ‘Dark Knight’ movies, ‘Iron Man 3’ and ‘Spider-Man 3’. (REALLY?! ‘Spider-Man 3’?) ‘Deadpool’ beat out ‘Man of Steel’ which opened to $128M.
AND on top of everything, Fox only released ‘Deadpool’ in 2D, meaning unlike most blockbusters from the last ten years or so, ‘Deadpool’ couldn’t coast on those bloated $15-25 tickets. I don’t have the breakdown on those numbers, but that alone puts ‘Deadpool’ ahead of a LOT of other big tentpole flicks just on individual ticket sales.
20th Century Fox had absolutely no idea what it had on its hands. Reynolds spent 10 years begging the studio to greenlight this film, after playing a very different version of the lead character in 2009’s lackluster ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’. Reynolds insisted on the film’s VERY hard R-rating, resulting in Fox only shelling out $58 million for a budget. This weekend alone, the risque action comedy pulled in $135 million (and is projected to hit $150M come Monday, which is a Federal holiday). So maybe listen to Reynolds more, Fox.
Uh, some other movies came out. Here is the breakdown:
- Deadpool (20th Century Fox) $135 million
- Kung Fu Panda 3 (20th Century Fox) $19.7 million
- How to Be Single (Warner Brothers) $18.8 million
- Zoolander 2 (Paramount) $15.7 million
- The Revenant (20th Century Fox) $6.9 million
‘How To Be Single’ starring Rebel Wilson and Dakota Johnson proved to be the counter-programming needed to offset ‘Deadpool’ as women not interested in the superhero movie turned out for that film instead and in some cased dragged their significant others along. And to the chagrin of some clueless parents, the comic book-based ‘Deadpool’ was rated R, meaning no effin’ kids. Those parents were forced to spill over into ‘Kung Fu Panda 3’ in its third strong weekend.
I kid you not, a large chunk of the audience polled attending ‘Zoolander 2’ turned up for the first ten minutes in which the villain Mugatu, played by Will Ferrell kills Justin Beiber.
‘Deadpool’ and most of the other Top Five entries should have no trouble thriving next weekend. The only major movies opening are the Jesse Owens biopic ‘Race’ and the Biblical drama ‘Risen’ both of which look extremely heavy-handed, and low-budget horror film ‘The Witch’.
So check back next weekend when ‘Deadpool’ ends up #1 again.