Deadpool has really defied expectations. Getting the movie green-lit was always a challenge, but finally happened after test footage of Ryan Reynolds in character leaked online. Reynolds’ first outing as the Merc with a Mouth – or more the Merc without a Mouth – in X-Men Origins: Wolverine – and its weak reception likely contributed to that, which makes it all the more fitting that Deadpool openly makes jokes about that movie in his new solo adventure.

Apart from giving the character another chance,  20th Century Fox also allowed Deadpool to be R-rated, immediately cutting out the most obvious audience demographic for superhero movies: children. Despite some calls for a PG-13 rated version, Reynolds and co. stuck with the adults-only version, only for Deadpool to debut on President’s Day Weekend with an incredible $132 million haul: the biggest in February opening ever. No surprise, a sequel is now moving full-speed ahead; one that will include the beastly cyborg Cable, at that. Deadpool has proven so popular that there’s been a petition asking for him to host Saturday Night Live – something that Reynolds has unfortunately declined.

Now, having raked in almost $500 million worldwide, the Merc with a Mouth has toppled Zac Snyder’s 300 to become the highest grossing R-rated comic book movie ever. Having brought in $55 million in its second weekend, it still remains No.1 at the box office. It’s also passed X-Men: Days of Future Past domestically and has a shot at passing the film worldwide, too. While this is great accomplishment, and it has the biggest R-rated opening ever, it still has a way to go to be crowned biggest R-rated movie ever. Currently at No.6 it still needs to earn over $135 million to dethrone The Passion of the Christ at the domestic box office.

There’s been much in the way of discussion about how Deadpool became such a sizable box office hit. Studios may already be jumping on the R-rating factor, to the extent that its possibly nailed down the decision to have Wolverine 3 – Hugh Jackman’s final movie appearance as Wolverine – be released in theaters with an R Rating. Of course, although its popularity can no doubt be attributed in part to its raunchy humor and mature violence, those weren’t the only factors that contributed to Deadpool‘s commercial success.

Another was the movie’s ‘edginess’ in risking  to try something different, with its fourth-wall breaking antics and send-up of superhero movies and their tropes in general. And even then the movie’s writers claim they are just two facets of many.Whatever the reason, it’s clear that Deadpool is a fresh take in what may eventually become a tired genre. It’s certainly going to have a big influence on the route that studios take with superhero movies over the next decade. And who knows, maybe Deadpool 2 will eventually be crowned the ultimate R-rated comic book movie king?

NEXT: Deadpool Easter Eggs & X-Men References

Deadpool is now in theaters. X-Men: Apocalypse will hit theaters on May 27, 2016; Gambit sometime in 2017; Wolverine 3 on March 3, 2017; and an unannounced X-Men film on July 13, 2018. The New Mutants and Deadpool 2 currently do not have official release dates.

Source: Box Office Mojo