For a movie that the studio once viewed as a risky proposition, Deadpool has certainly turned out to be a rather successful roll of the dice. According to projects, the R-rated superhero comedy/adventure is set to pull $135 million at the box office this weekend, surpassing the opening weekends of every Marvel Comics-based film, including Marvel Studios films except Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3, Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron. It also gives Deadpool the highest opening gross of any of 20th Century Fox X-Men franchise films. Additionally, it leaves previous February opening weekend champ 50 Shades of Grey‘s $85 million handily in the dust.
These are just the three day weekend projections. Factoring in box office from Monday’s Presidents Day receipts, Deadpool is expected to pull a total of $150 million for the four day weekend. This also makes it the biggest R-rated opening of all time and the largest debut weekend for a first-time director, in this case Tim Miller.
All in all, not bad for a movie that even aggressive estimates only a few weeks earlier had suggested would only pull about $75 million.
The success of the film vindicates star Ryan Reynold. The star had been lobbying for a film centered on the character after comic book fans reacted negatively to how the character was portrayed in his first big screen appearance as a supporting character in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The studio resisted the idea of a hard R-rating for the film as the restrictive rating theoretically limits the potential number of ticket buyers.
With a budget of just $58 million, pretty bargain basement for a comic book film, Deadpool has pretty much already earned back its budget and probably a good portion of its aggressive advertising budget. Well on its way to being in the black, the studio has already begun work on a sequel. I imagine that work is already being fast tracked.