Sunday, February 14, 2016

Deadpool Chows Down On Box Office Records Like They're Chimichangas In Record Breaking Opening Weekend

Prior to this weekend. everyone was fairly certain Deadpool would do large numbers at the box office, thanks to the lack of blockbusters in the marketplace and its incredible marketing campaign. But nobody saw it doing this kind of gargantuan record busting business, especially for a character who was previously seen as just a cult item. Now, Deadpool can officially call himself one of the biggest cinematic superheroes of all-time, and is demonstrating that certain R-rated films can make big bucks at the box office.

So yeah, Deadpool made $135 million this weekend, an insane haul far far far far above any projections anyone had for it just a few days ago. That's the biggest opening weekend for any X-Men movie by a wide margin, the largest opening weekend for any 20th Century Fox film in history (not adjusted for inflation) and the seventh biggest opening weekend for any superhero movie, only behind the two Avengers movies, both Dark Knight sequels, Iron Man 3 and Spider-Man 3. To boot, it's the biggest February opening weekend of all-time by a tremendous margin and has already surpassed the entire domestic haul of Ryan Reynolds last superhero film, Green Lantern, as well as the domestic gross of The Wolverine, in just three days and is the biggest opening weekend for a non-Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero film since The Dark Knight Rises nearly four years, Oh yes, and it's the biggest opening weekend for an R-rated film ever as well, surpassing the previous record holder (The Matrix Reloaded was the reigning champ here for 13 years with a $91.7 million opening) by a massive 44%.

Now is the time for whoever coordinated the marketing campaign for Deadpool to get a big o'l present, because the folks behind this distinctive and memorable campaign did an incredible job ensuring that the characters unique personality was conveyed via top notch trailers, posters and viral marketing. To boot, it being an R-rated comedy not only allowed it to stand apart from most superhero films but also the vast majority of American blockbusters. This was, above all else, something different and something fun, and that combo was enough to get plenty of audiences into the theater. The question now is how high Deadpool can go domestically...barring a massive 80+% dip next weekend, this one's flying over $300 million easy. Could it end up outgrossing much more expensive forthcoming superhero films like Batman v. Superman and Captain America: Civil War? Only time will tell.

In second place was holdover Kung Fu Panda 3, showing strong stamina in its third frame as it got a boost from President's Day weekend. Losing only 7% this weekend, Po grossed another $19.6 million and has now made $93.8 million domestically. Right behind the portly panda was new release How To Be Single, which grossed $18.9 million, an OK haul given its smaller $38 million budget that's way behind past romantic comedies opening over Valentine's Day like He's Just Not That Into You and the appropriately titled Valentine's Day.

Coming in at fourth was another newcomer, Zoolander 2, which somehow managed to only barely outgross the opening weekend, without adjusting things for inflation mind you, of its predecessor from 15 years ago. 2oolander (or however ya wanna spell it) only took in $15.6 million over the weekend, a dismal result that, in terms of opening weekends for Ben Stiller comedies, is only slight ahead of the debut of The Heartbreak Kid and barely ahead of the original Zoolander by 5%. This was a super competitive weekend for comedies, as Zoolander 2 had to face both Deadpool and How To Be Single. Plus, Zoolander hadn't become a huge element of pop culture like, say, Anchorman, so a sequel was never expected to be massive.

But things weren't helped by a middling marketing campaign that offered few memorable gags for audiences to latch onto. Not helping matters were abysmal reviews and the lack of success both Siller and Owne Wilson have had in major comedies in the last few years. All told, it'd be shocking if Zoolander 2 got above $40 million in its domestic run, putting it in the same league as collosal Ben Stiller misfires like the aforementioned The Heartbreak Kid and The Watch.

Rounding out the top five was The Revenant, losing a minuscule 0.6% with a strong $6.9 million, taking its domestic gross to $158.1 million. It now looks like The Revenant will ends it domestic run in the neighborhood of $175-180 million, a sum similar to summer 2015 blockbusters like Ant-Man and Pitch Perfect 2. Super impressive stuff.

Hail, Caesar!, in its second weekend, came in it a sixth place, holding decently with a 42% decline and a second weekend gross of $6.5 million, taking its domestic gross to $21.2 million. Not too shabby of a hold there, especially considering many wondered if the film would manage to stick around given the large amount of new comedic films entering the marketplace this weekend and the fact that it received a C- CinemaScore from general audiences (though those grades are far far from "end all be all" when it comes to figuring out a movies word-of-mouth) last weekend.

Right behind the newest Coen Brother movies in seventh place was Star Wars: The Force Awakens, taking in $6.1 million, resulting in its massive domestic haul climbing up to $914.8 million. It also scored the 23rd best ninth weekend on record, right behind the ninth weekend grosses of Pretty Woman and Fatal Attraction.

The Choice had the best second dip by far for a Nicholas Sparks adaptation, losing only 13% in its second frame for a second weekend gross of $5.2 million. Alas, such a tiny dip won't help its meager domestic gross, which is now up to only $13.2 million. Looks like this one may barely creep past $20 million when all is said and done.

Debuting this weekend in limited release was the newest Michael Moore feature Where To Invade Next, going out in only 308 theaters, it amassed $1.03 million, for a decent $3,353 per theater average. This is by far the weakest opening for any Moore documentary and, while not bombing at all this weekend, it doesn't look like this will be big enough to warrant further theater expansion in the weeks to come.

The top 12 this weekend grossed an incredible $226 million, up 13% from the same weekend last year that saw Fifty Shades Of Grey ruling over all and the biggest February weekend of all-time. It's also the thirteenth biggest weekend of all-time, Through the first 45 days of the year, 2016 is running ahead of any other year in history by box office gross (not attendance) by a considerable margin.

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