Deadpool, not only was a huge surprise with critics, it was also a surprise with fans, earning $135 million this past weekend. The film was built with great with fan anticipation especially from a very vocal minority. The Deadpool character is a favorite amongst the comic book community for his archaic sense of humor and sel-awareness. Fans have been clamoring for a film with the red-suited character for so long that when X-Men Origins: Wolverine butchered the adaptation, fans were furious. Ryan Reynolds, whom played the much-hated version seen in that X-Men film, fought hard to get an accurate depiction on screen. With an impressive marketing campaign, Deadpool scored a huge opening at the box-office that broke and set a few records.
At $135 million, Deadpool becomes the biggest opening film in the month of February, a title previously held by last year’s Fifty Shades of Grey with $85.1 million. Deadpool also overthrew The Matrix Reloaded for biggest R-rated film by a margin of $43.4 million; the second Matrix film opened in May 2003 to 3,600 theaters with $91.7 million. Critics have been receptive to the anti-superhero film earning an 84% on Rotten Tomatoes, a rating higher than last year’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. Deadpool had so much fan anticipation after the initial test footage leaked that Fox had no choice but to greenlight the film. Another film with high fan support was Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. At its debut at the 2010 San Diego Comic Con, fans couldn’t get enough of the Edgar Wright comic adaption. Yet, despite vocal fans, the film was dead on arrival earning $31.5 million domestically in its lifetime gross and earned less than half that from international markets. With a production budget of just $60 million ($2 million more Deadpool’s reported $58 million) the film tanked, yet remains a cult hit. Fox took a gamble with Deadpool but wisely supported the film through with a marketing campaign that saw Ryan Reynolds dawn the tight red suit for various videos and images.
Ryan Reynolds isn’t what you call a box-office draw, despite what his charming good looks might tell you. While he has been in a few box-office disasters, he has a few films under his belt that have earned back its budget. 2012s Safe House with Denzel Washington was highly successful earned over $126 million in its lifetime domestic gross earning back its $85 million budget and then some. I wouldn’t call him an indie darling but he has an impressive resume of acting in fair amount of indie films from last year’s Mississippi Grind and Woman in Gold, to 2014s The Captive, 2010s Paper Man and, my favorite, Buried. With the exception of Woman in Gold, those films didn’t earn back its budget.
Kung Fu Panda 3 held out for another week, placing second with $19.6 million. The third Jack Black Panda flick held up as best as it can dropping 7.5% from last week. Kung Fu Panda 3’s official domestic total is $94 million, just below the $100 million mark. For the first Kung Fu Panda, it surpassed the $100 million mark in just its second weekend. Kung Fu Panda 2 took a bit longer to reach $100 million, taking three weekends to get to $100.02 million. Though no slouch, Kung Fu Panda 3 has been performing better in China for obvious reasons, earning $126.1 million, more so than any other country.
How To Be Single, which stars Dakota Johnson and Rebel Wilson, took third place with $17.9 million. For director Christian Ditter, this is his highest grossing film after his previous film Love, Rosie earned a grand total of $20,431 in its total domestic run. This isn’t a huge hit for either starrer as Johnson was in the immensely popular Fifty Shades of Grey and Wilson’s biggest opening was for Pitch Perfect 2 at $69.2 million.
Zoolander 2 suffered at the hands of critics earning a 22% on Rotten Tomatoes and placing fourth at the box-office this weekend with $13.9 million. The first film earned $15.5 million in its debut weekend in the last weekend of September 2001. Adjusted for inflation, the film earned $20.6 million. Stars Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, and Penelope Cruz have seen better days and better films. The film suffered at the hands of Deadpool, which had a superior marketing campaign and showed for it with its opening.
The Revenant placed fifth with $6.6 million, dropping 4.9% from last weekend. With its BAFTA win on the 14th, The Revenant is the favorite to win the Oscar later this month. Could that mean a boost at the box-office?