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Box Office Preview: ‘Deadpool 2’ to End ‘Avengers: Infinity War’s’ Reign

Avengers: Infinity War” will pass the box office baton to a fellow Marvel Comics character this weekend.

20th Century Fox’s “Deadpool 2” is expected to end “Infinity War’s” three-week rule, eyeing a release between $130 million and $150 million on 4,200 screens in North America. Should it open toward the end of that range, it would top its own record of the biggest opening weekend for an R-rated film. The original “Deadpool” was a surprise hit, launching with $132.4 million in 2016. It went on to earn $363 million in North America and $783 worldwide, making it the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time.

Ryan Reynolds stars as the wisecracking mercenary known a Deadpool, whose real name is Wade Wilson. David Leitch directed from a script by Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, and Reynolds.

The superhero sequel sees Deadpool forming a team called the X-Force — comprised of Zazie Beetz’s Domino, T.J. Miller’s Weasel, Terry Crews’ Bedlam, Bill Skarsgard’s Zeitgeist, and Rob Delaney’s Peter — to protect a young mutant from Josh Brolin’s villainous Cable. Morena Baccarin, Julian Dennison, Brianna Hildebrand, and Jack Kesy round out the cast. 

“Infinity War” will likely get bumped down to second place. If the Disney and Marvel title continues on a similar path, it should take in around $30 million in its fourth frame. As of Monday, “Infinity War’s” domestic tally sits at $552.7 million, while its global total passed $1.63 billion.

In a classic case of counter-programming, “Deadpool 2” is premiering against two comedies — “Book Club” and “Show Dogs.”

Paramount Pictures’ “Book Club” hopes to bow with $7 million to $10 million in 2,800 theaters. Geared toward an older audience, the romantic comedy follows Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen — four friends who read “Fifty Shades of Grey” in their monthly book club. The film, directed by Bill Holderman, also features Craig T. Nelson, Richard Dreyfuss, and Alicia Silverstone.

Global Road Entertainment’s “Show Dogs” is prancing toward a debut ranging from $4 million to $9 million in 3,145 locations. Directed by Raja Gosnell, and written by Max Botkin and Marc Hyman, the film follows a Rottweiler police dog and his owner, who go undercover at a prestigious dog show to stop a crime. Will Arnett stars alongside the voice cast of Ludacris, Jordin Sparks, Gabriel Iglesias, Shaquille O’Neal, Stanley Tucci, and Alan Cumming.

A number of films are opening at the specialty box office, including A24’s “First Reformed,” Bleecker Street’s “On Chesil Beach,” and Focus Features’ “Pope Francis – A Man of His Word.”

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