Despite the tough sell of a “hard R-rating” and over a decade in development at Fox, it looks like all the hard work that went into making Deadpool will pay off. Early indications from Thursday ticket sales, which by themselves broke records for R-rated films and previews in February, suggest that the Ryan Reynolds-starring action film is in for a very healthy weekend at the box office. Even so, it falls to fans and moviegoers to make sure they get out to see Deadpool in the theaters in order to provide the big payday that the Merc with a Mouth deserves.
As for the Thursday box office numbers, BoxOfficeMojo reports that Deadpool pulled in $12.7 million, making it the largest February preview ever (over Fifty Shades of Gray’s $8.6 million last year) and the highest R-rated preview, topping The Hangover Part II’s $10.4 million in 2011. Numbers to keep in mind for Friday’s opening are around the $30 million mark, which is where Fifty Shades of Gray and American Sniper landed during their wide releases. Deadpool could easily be looking at more record-setting box office performances throughout the weekend.
THR gives the antihero comic book movie a strong chance to rule the Valentine’s Day/Presidents Day weekend, estimating a four-day gross of $65+ million. Fox is hedging bets with an estimate between $60 and $65 million, while other analysts think Deadpool has a good chance of breaking $70 million. That would put the film in good company with some of the top R-rated debuts ever, though it wouldn’t be a complete surprise should it top Fifty Shades of Gray’s $93 million Presidents Day weekend record from last year.
Looking more closely at Thursday’s numbers, it seems that Deadpool also beat Disney/Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($10.2 million) and Guardians of the Galaxy ($11.2 million), so that’s a feather in Fox’s cap. Speaking of Fox, Deadpool is even out-performing the studio’s most famous franchise, having out-earned X-Men: Days of Future Past in Britain and France. It’s breaking records in Taiwan ($1.4 million), has landed the biggest R-rated film opening in the Philippines ($357,000), has Belgium’s top superhero movie debut ($270,000), and set Australia’s new February opening day record ($2.1 million). It’s just a shame the film was banned in China and Uzbekistan due to censor concerns. China’s box office numbers could have made the film’s performance even more impressive; Uzbekistan, not so much.
Though it wasn’t released in 3D, Deadpool did manage to land the sixth-highest debut for an IMAX film. All in all, things are looking solid at the box office for Deadpool this weekend, and considering that it only cost $58 million to make (without taking its fantastic marketing campaign into account), all signs look good for its eventual sequel, as well. Directed by Tim Miller, the film also stars Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, T.J. Miller and Gina Carano.
Get caught up on some of our recent Deadpool coverage below:
- ‘Deadpool’: What Did You Think?
- ‘Deadpool’ Sequel Already in the Works at Fox
- Deadpool on Selling Out to Hollywood and Always Being in Wolverine’s Shadow
- ‘Deadpool’: Brianna Hildebrand on Negasonic Teenage Warhead, Ryan Reynolds, and More
- ‘Deadpool’ Review: The Merc with the Mouth Finally Gets the Movie He Deserves
- ‘Deadpool’: Valentine’s Day Promo Asks You to Imagine What’s Under That Red Suit