‘Deadpool’ Dominates Holiday Weekend with $150 Million in U.S.

DEADPOOL
Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Ryan Reynolds’ irreverent “Deadpool” has dominated the President’s Weekend box office with an astounding $150 million at the U.S. box office.

“Deadpool” more than doubled last week’s forecasts that ranged between $60 million and $70 million for the Friday-Monday period. It’s one of the biggest surprise blockbusters within recent memory, given Fox’s decision to go with a February launch and an R-rating on a superhero movie.

“These are summer numbers in February,” noted Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with comScore. “It shows that the conventional wisdom is sometimes not that wise. On paper, a studio would not release this movie at this time but the R-rating worked in its favor and somehow made it more appealing.”

Marvel’s mentally unstable mercenary — an X-Men spinoff known as the “Merc with a Mouth” with the superhuman ability of accelerated healing — struck an unexpected chord with moviegoers. It has already become massively profitable for Fox, which spent a relatively modest $58 million on its production budget.

Male moviegoers represented 62% of the audience and the over-25 audience represented 53% of the total.

As of Sunday, the international total had topped $132 million. Fox estimated Monday that the international total would hit $150 million, pushing worldwide grosses to $300 million.

The U.S total for “Deadpool” easily surpasses the previous President’s Day weekend and February record holder, “Fifty Shades of Grey,” which dazzled the industry a year ago with its $93 million debut. Its three-day total of $135 million also smashed the record for an R-rated opener, held for the past 13 years by “The Matrix Reloaded” at $91.8 million.

Dergarabedian said the overperformance of “Deadpool” was similar to the 2012 opening of “The Hunger Games,” which stunned the industry with a $152.5 million launch weekend in mid-March. “The movie somehow became part of the zeitgeist,” he noted.

Fox rolled the dice with a first-time feature director, placing Tim Miller at the helm.  “Deadpool” obliterated the previous record for an opening for a first-time director — set in 2007 when Chris Miller’s “Shrek the Third” opened with $121.6 million.

“Deadpool” also took in seven times the total of Warner Bros.’ “How to Be Single,” starring Dakota Johnson and Rebel Wilson. “Single,” launched to capitalize on Valentine’s Day, brought in a moderate $20.6 million from 3,343 locations during the four days.

Paramount’s “Zoolander 2” was less impressive with $16 million at 3,394 sites as the combo of “Deadpool” and withering reviews held back the comedy for a fourth-place finish. The Ben Stiller vehicle scored only a 22% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Last weekend’s leader “Kung Fu Panda 3” added $26 million at 3,844 locations over the four days, finishing in second place and crossing the $100 million mark for Fox.

Fox’s eighth weekend of Leonardo DiCaprio’s “The Revenant” finished fifth with $7.8 million at 2,266 sites to lift the wilderness epic past $160 million.

Disney’s ninth weekend of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” showed plenty of life over the holiday in sixth with $7.7 million at 1,810 screens. After 60 days, the seventh “Star Wars” movie has hit $916.3 million at the domestic box office — $156 million above “Avatar,” the previous record holder.

Universal’s second weekend of “Hail, Caesar!” followed in seventh with $7.2 million at 2,348 locations to give the George Clooney comedy $22 million in its first 11 days.

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  1. Curt-north says:

    I took my 18yr old son, honestly I had no clue who or what Dead Pool was. To my surprise it was one of the most entertaining films I’ve seen in years,but yes the R rating is well deserved and I was glad my 14yr old wasn’t with us. Theater was packed on a Sunday 1:30pm showing, I can see why, was so much fun, hope the sequel comes and it’s just as “out there” as this was, good job to R.R., carried the film, just wonderful.

  2. Cath says:

    The fact that Deadpool is a good movie and funny, with an origin story most viewers had not seen probably helped too.

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