Records fell at the box office this weekend in surprising ways, surpassing even the rosiest of expectations for a certain Merc with a Mouth.
The runaway #1 film is Deadpool (read our review), which shattered numerous marks during its first three days. Domestically, the highly-anticipated film grossed $135 million. That’s a new all-time high for an opening weekend in February (besting Fifty Shades of Grey‘s $85.1 million last year). It’s also the largest debut for an R rated film, destroying the previous record of $91.7 million set by The Matrix Reloaded in 2003. In addition, it’s also the largest opening weekend for 20th Century Fox as a studio, a release history that includes six Star Wars films and several X-Men movies. Deadpool scored the seventh highest-grossing opening weekend for any superhero movie ever released and is already the top earner for 2016 so far.
It’s quite an accomplishment, considering the film was rated R and not released in 3D. It’s a testament to the popularity of the Deadpool character and the strength of a killer marketing campaign that hooked audiences immediately. Couple that with enthusiastic word-of-mouth from both critics and fans, Deadpool was poised to become a bona fide hit. For the four day President’s Day holiday weekend, it’s estimated that the movie will gross in excess of $150 million, and even the most devout fans could not have predicted that. Is it any wonder that Fox is moving ahead on the sequel?
In a very distant second is Kung Fu Panda 3 with $19.6 million in its third weekend. The animated sequel is now up to $93.9 million in the States.
Opening in third is the new romantic comedy How to be Single (read our review), which grossed $18.7 million in its first three days. It obviously could not compete with the mass appeal of Deadpool, but it did emerge as a solid counter programming option for audiences uninterested in superhero fare. For comparison’s sake, it actually debuted higher than Sisters did against Star Wars: The Force Awakens, so How to be Single seems set for a successful run and should be able to turn a nice profit for the studio.
Disappointingly debuting in fourth is Zoolander 2 (read our review), a belated comedy sequel that came out a few years too late. The film made $15.6 million in its opening weekend, which is virtually identical to what the original grossed when it premiered in 2001 ($15.5 million). Zoolander has become a cult comedy classic in the years since, but there wasn’t much interest in the story continuing. The biggest culprit was most likely the negative reviews, which made Deadpool all the more appealing for comedy fans. Don’t expect this one to stick around for too long.
Rounding out the top five is The Revenant. The Oscar frontrunner made $6.9 million to raise its domestic total to $159.1 million.
At #6 is Hail, Caesar! fell from second last week. The satirical look at 1950s Hollywood dropped 42 percent and made $6.5 million in its second weekend. The film has now grossed just $21.3 million domestically.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens comes in seventh with $6.1 million. It raised its domestic total to $914.8 million, adding to its all-time record.
In eighth is The Choice, which made $5.2 million in its second weekend, raising its domestic total to $13.2 million.
Comedy sequel Ride Along 2 comes in ninth this weekend with $4.1 million. It has now grossed $82.6 million Stateside.
Finishing off the top 10 is The Boy. The horror film brought in $2.9 million and is now up to $30.7 million domestically.
[NOTE: These are only weekend box office estimates — based on Friday and Saturday ticket sales coupled with adjusted expectations for Sunday. Official weekend box office results will be released on Monday, February 15 — at which time we’ll update this post with any changes.]
Source: Box Office Mojo