×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Box Office: ‘Deadpool’ Still a Juggernaut; ‘The Witch’ Generating Heat

It’s a “Deadpool” world.

After vaporizing records, the superhero movie will easily top the box office for a second consecutive weekend, pulling in $55 million. That’s in line with what Fox, the studio behind the $58 million comic-book adaptation, predicted “Deadpool” would pull in during its premiere. It ended President’s Day Weekend with $152.3 million in its war chest. That bested the openings of Tiffany comic book brands such as the X-Men and Superman, defying conventional wisdom that blockbusters can’t come with an R rating, and resurrecting star Ryan Reynolds’ career in the process.

By the end of the weekend, “Deadpool” will cross the $200 million mark domestically.

Though the mercenary in red tights will remain a juggernaut, some brave new releases will try to shoulder in on the action. Among them, “Race,” a drama about Jesse Owens, the black Olympian who captured four gold medals in the 1936 Berlin games. His triumph came as Adolf Hitler was in firmly in control of Germany and Nazism was on the rise. Focus Features bought domestic rights to the film for $5 million. It should make $9 million when it debuts in 2,300 locations.

Then there’s “Risen,” a religious drama from Sony Pictures, that follows a Roman soldier tasked with examining rumors of Jesus’ resurrection. It cost $20 million to produce and unspools across 2,912 theaters.  Tracking suggests that the film will bring out the faithful to the tune of $10 million. There are a number of things working in its favor. The opening coincides with Lent and the Christian community is one that Sony has shown an ability to reach in the past, having successfully fielded the likes of “Heaven is for Real” and “War Room.”

The biggest question mark is “The Witch,” a creepy horror flick that A24, the indie label behind “Room” and “Ex Machina,” picked up over a year ago at the Sundance Film Festival for just under $1 million. The pre-Salem story of a Puritan family that becomes mysteriously afflicted has been embraced by critics and currently enjoys an 87% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s also popping on social media platforms and earning the endorsement of novelist Stephen King. That response has some analysts predicting it has breakout potential.

The Witch” was originally intended to be a multi-platform release, pairing an on-demand debut with a limited theatrical roll-out. But A24 rethought its strategy based on the reactions it was getting in screenings. It decided instead to push “The Witch” on to 1,800 theaters, marking the widest release in the company’s history. To limit its financial exposure if the bet fails to pay off, A24 has leaned heavily on digital promotions instead of more costly television spots.

Tracking has the film connecting with horror aficionados and racking up more than $10 million. However, the studio insists that given its limited marketing spending, it would be content with an opening in the $3 million to $4 million range. That could happen, of course. There are plenty of films that stir excitement on social media only to collapse away from the comforting confines of Twitter.

But many box office sages believe that “The Witch” can cast a strong enough spell to convince people to see what all the buzz is about and what kept no less an authority on the macabre than King up at night.

More Film

  • '2019 Oscar Nominated Short Films: Live

    Film Review: ‘2019 Oscar Nominated Short Films: Live Action’

    The Academy skewed dark in its choice of live-action shorts this year, selecting four films to slit your wrists by — each one featuring child endangerment in a different form — and a fifth, about a diabetic on her death bed, that finds a glimmer of uplift at the other end of life. If that [...]

  • How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes

    How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes Sports and Showbiz in an Entertaining Mix

    Walking through the El Segundo studio where veteran sportscaster Rich Eisen tapes his daily “Rich Eisen Show,” the sheer density of sports memorabilia is overwhelming — everything from game balls to jerseys, gear, autographs and uncountable photos are crammed onto every inch of wall and desk space. But step into Eisen’s dressing room, and the [...]

  • Yorgos Lanthimos

    Film News Roundup: 'The Favourite' Director Yorgos Lanthimos Boards Crime Drama

    In today’s film news roundup, Yorgos Lanthimos has set up a crime drama, “Here Lies Daniel Tate” is being adapted, and Donna Langley becomes a member of the USC film school board. DIRECTOR HIRED “The Favourite” producer-director Yorgos Lanthimos has signed on to write and direct crime drama “Pop. 1280,” an adaptation of Jim Thompson’s [...]

  • Brody Stevens Dead

    Comedian Brody Stevens Dies at 48

    Prominent Los Angeles comedian Brody Stevens died Friday in Los Angeles, Variety has confirmed. He was 48. “Brody was an inspiring voice who was a friend to many in the comedy community,” Stevens’ reps said in a statement. “He pushed creative boundaries and his passion for his work and his love of baseball were contagious. [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business

    Hollywood Agents Blast Writers Guild Over New Proposals

    The war between the Writers Guild of America and Hollywood agents has escalated as the two sides battle over the rules on how writers are represented. The latest volley emerged Friday from Karen Stuart, executive director of the Association of Talent Agents, who accused WGA leaders of misleading its members and asserted that the guild [...]

  • Xavier Legrand Custody

    Cesar Awards: Xavier Legrand’s ‘Custody’ Wins Best Film

    Xavier Legrand’s feature debut “Custody,” a tense portrait of a family torn by domestic violence, won best film, actress (for Lea Drucker), and original screenplay at the 44th Cesar Awards, which took place at the Salle Pleyel in Paris. The awards are France’s highest film honors. “Custody,” which marks Legrand’s follow up to his Oscar-nominated [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    'Crazy Rich Asians,' 'Late Show With Stephen Colbert' Win Publicity Campaign Awards

    Hollywood publicists have selected “Crazy Rich Asians” as the top movie publicity campaign for 2018 and “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” as the best television campaign. Warner Bros.’ “Crazy Rich Asians” topped the campaigns for Disney’s “Black Panther,” Fox’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Paramount’s “A Quiet Place,” Sony’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” and Universal’s “Halloween” for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content