The Matrix Reloaded was the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all-time, a record it’s held for nearly 13 years. We say “was” because Twentieth Century Fox’s Deadpool just beat it.
The film the studio held back in development hell for years based on a character it forcefully ruined in X-Men Origins: Wolverine has become the studio’s most lucrative superhero. Deadpool not only now hold the records as the biggest R-rated release, an accomplishment earned without tacking on 3D for those ticket premiums, but it currently sits less than $2 million away from breaking X-Men: Days of Future Past’s franchise record. That’s right, Deadpool is the most popular and successful X-Men movie.
Thanks to this weekend at the box office (where Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice set records too), Deadpool earned an estimated $5 million domestically and $3 million in foreign markets to bring its worldwide total to $745,974,060, just edging out The Matrix Reloaded’s $742,128,461 total haul, and inching closer to X-Men: Days of Future Past’s $747,862,775 which it’ll conquer in just a few days.
It’s a mindblowing achievement and the records that director Tim Miller and Ryan Reynolds’s Deadpool has broken and set have surpassed even the most optimistic of expectations and projections, and it’s doing so thanks to the project championing creative freedom and resulting positive word-of-mouth. Fox finally let fans (like writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick) make a movie with fans for fans without studio formulas and interference – a notable issue with certain past franchise installments.
And not to beat a dead horse, but Deadpool is going to beat Days of Future Past (it crushed its opening weekend to start) which had 3D ticket boost and PG-13 rating. And did we mention the former only cost $58 million to make while the latter had a production budget of approximately $200 million and is an established property? It already beat the first Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and Ant-Man too.
This speaks volumes to the power of word-of-mouth and notably, the award-worthy marketing campaign which Fox put together to promote the film – most of which relied on star and producer Ryan Reynolds carrying the project on his back. It makes you wonder just how much of a budget Fox will grant for Deadpool 2 and if its creative team (who are all returning) can catch magic in a bottle twice.
Based upon Marvel Comics’ most unconventional anti-hero, DEADPOOL tells the origin story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson, who after being subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopts the alter ego Deadpool. Armed with his new abilities and a dark, twisted sense of humor, Deadpool hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life.
X-Men: Apocalypse opens in theaters on May 27th, 2016, followed by Wolverine 3 on March 3rd, 2017 and unannounced X-Men films on October 6th, 2017 (possibly Gambit), January 12th, 2018 (possibly Deadpool 2), and July 13th, 2018. The New Mutants is also in development.