20th Century Fox sat on Deadpool for six years before finally giving it a green light with a modest $58 million budget. After a lengthy and impressive marketing campaign that ensured everyone in the world knew the name Wade Wilson, box office tracking was looking strong with $65 million. And then the film actually opened, more than doubling that prediction, shattering a handful of records and blowing the doors off the comic book movie genre. This feels like a big deal. Oh, and Zoolander 2 also opened.

FilmWeekendPer Screen
2Kung Fu Panda 3$19,650,000 (-7.5)$5,112$93,912,387
3How to Be Single$18,750,000$5,609$18,750,162
4Zoolander 2$15,650,000$4,611$15,650,000
5The Revenant$6,900,000 (-0.6)
6Hail, Caesar!$6,590,000 (-42.0)$2,931$21,354,970
7Star Wars: The Force Awakens$6,195,000 (-11.2)$3,422$914,838,964
8The Choice$5,250,000 (-13.2)$1,995$13,259,551
9Ride Along 2$4,130,000 (-9.4)$2,641$82,661,235
10The Boy$2,913,000 (-28.7)$2,009$30,778,587


With $135 million over three days, Deadpool had the biggest opening of any X-Men movie, the biggest February opening of all time, and the biggest opening for any R-rated movie. Despite headlines all over the internet talking about “superhero fatigue,” this film has proven that there is still plenty of interest in costumed crime-fighters...and that hyper violent, crass, and self-aware may be the genre’s latest trend. What lessons will Hollywood take from this? If we lived in a better dimension, studios would start taking risks with strange, adult-oriented films that play outside of the box. If we live in a lesser dimension, we’re just going to get a lot more superhero movies with dick jokes.

In any case, the gigantic success of Deadpool is going to demand a careful look, especially since audiences actually seem to really like the movie. The omnipresent marketing got people in the theater, but the response has been strong and word of mouth is going to be killer. Right now, it’s hard to even predict just how well this film will do in the long run, but $300 million domestic feels like a real possibility. And for an R-rated movie starring a B-tier X-Man, that’s nothing short of insane.

Other new movies did open this week as well. How to Be Single opened with a decent $18 million, which isn’t great, but it also isn’t a disaster for a movie of this size. Unless it entirely tumbles next week, it will walk away looking fine and dandy. The real victim of Deadpool’s success was Zoolander 2, which opened in fourth place with an underwhelming $15 million. It seems that the fans of the first film, who slowly came around over the course of a decade to transform a box office disappointment into a cult favorite, were too busy seeing Deadpool. Maybe everyone will decide they like this sequel in 2026 or so.

Otherwise, the holiday weekend was a boon for most of the top 10, particularly Kung Fu Panda 3, which only dropped 7.5 percent as it fell to second place, grossing $19 million for a $93 million total. It still won’t match the success of the first two films at the domestic box office (it’s doing fine internationally), but at least it’s showing some legs. The Revenant, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Ride Along 2 and The Choice also showcased minuscule drops as massive crowds flocked to the multiplexes over their four-day holiday. The only real bummer was Hail, Caesar!, which dropped a big 42 percent after mixed buzz. It should clear $30 million (enough to not be a total disaster) but anything beyond that is a gift.

More From WROK 1440 AM / 96.1 FM