After spending years in development hell, 20th Century Fox finally released the solo Deadpool movie this year. Though the Merc With a Mouth is beloved among comic book fans, the project was still deemed a risk by some. For starters, Deadpool was not the most recognizable superhero to casual audiences, and the film’s R rating seemed to limit its overall appeal. Of course, when the film reached theaters, the tune changed and Deadpool had a run of unprecedented success.
Using an awards worthy marketing campaign (which is still going strong) as a springboard, director Tim Miller’s film broke February opening weekend records, and eventually became the highest-grossing R rated movie ever made. Deadpool surpassed even the rosiest expectations, making $761.7 million worldwide. As of this writing, it is the top film of 2016 on the domestic charts – though that could change in the coming weeks with the arrival of Captain America: Civil War. Nevertheless, Deadpool is now a go-to franchise for Fox, and it’s still rewriting the history books as it’s released on home media.
Variety is reporting that Deadpool is now the fastest-selling superhero movie on Digital HD, as 1 million purchases were made during the first week. Fox received the data from comScore’s Digital Downloads Essentials. Deadpool has also set new records for Fox in terms of digital HD sales, and it’s the fastest to 1 million out of any movie (not just comic book adaptations).
Scoring enthusiastically positive reviews from critics and audiences alike, Deadpool became the first bona fide hit of the year and a pop culture phenomenon. Fans obviously were excited to bring Wade Wilson home and couldn’t wait for the physical Blu-ray to be released on May 10 (which will only add to the film’s profits). From that perspective, the news isn’t the most shocking. That said, it is a bit of a surprise that it is performing better than any movie ever, given the multitude of massive tentpoles that have come out in the past few months (Avengers: Age of Ultron, Jurassic World, Star Wars: The Force Awakens). Deadpool pulling this off is just another illustration of why Fox was smart to green light the project and trust the passionate creative team intent on doing the character justice following his maligned appearance in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
With all the money Deadpool has made, a sequel is being planned and could start filming this fall. As promised by the first film’s post-credits scene, Cable will be making his big screen debut, though the character has yet to be cast (here are our picks). After Deadpool broke the bank, one would think that the followup would be looking to go the typical “bigger and better” route with an increased budget, but the filmmakers have stated they wish to keep their universe small(ish) and not overdo it. There’s the possibility for additional X-Men cameos now that Fox knows the property is a hit, but it sounds like the scale of Deadpool 2 will be similar to its predecessor – a welcomed development that’ll help it feel fresh.
In the meantime, everyone involved with Deadpool can take a moment to bask in the fruits of their labor. Not even Ryan Reynolds could have predicted the tremendous success the film would have, and it’s still crazy to think about. In a year that featured the first live-action cinematic pairing of Batman and Superman, Deadpool was able to top them at the domestic box office – a feat no one saw coming. For those concerned about superhero fatigue settling in anytime soon, Deadpool is living proof that the demand for these films remains as high as ever.
Deadpool is now available on Digital HD. X-Men: Apocalypse will see theatrical release in the U.S. 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.