New York — Marvel's R-rated antihero smash Deadpool continued to dominate movie theaters over the weekend, earning an estimated $55m and trouncing a trio of newcomers.After pulling in a massive $152.2m in its President's Day weekend four-day debut, the comic book adaptation from 20th Century Fox starring Ryan Reynolds as a foul-mouthed mercenary again topped the North American box office. Having already grossed $235.4m domestically, Deadpool — made for just $58m — is poised to become one of the most successful R-rated movies ever.
Globally, the film — now certain to spawn a franchise of its own — has made $491.1m thus far.Among new releases, the faith-based drama Risen debuted with $11.8m. The film, in which Joseph Fiennes plays a Roman soldier investigating the death and resurrection of Jesus, was made for about $20m by Sony's Affirm label, which targets evangelical Christian moviegoers.
A24's critically acclaimed Puritan thriller The Witch opened with $8.7m, marking the biggest opening of the indie label behind the Oscar-nominated drama Room. A24 celebrated Robert Eggers' directorial debut — an austere 1600s horror film, rigorously authentic to the period — as not only the company's biggest weekend in its three-year history, but one that put The Witch on course to be "the most successful film of all time with a goat in a starring role."It may have been too art house for some horror fans, though, as The Witch received a poor C-minus CinemaScore from audiences.The Jesse Owens biopic from Focus Features, Race, struggled to find its footing with $7.3m. Directed by Stephen Hopkins, Race stars Stephan James as the Olympic sprinter.
Edging out the three debuts was Fox's Kung Fu Panda 3, which made $12.5m in its fourth weekend. The animated sequel, which has made $117.1m in total, will lose its near-exclusive window of family moviegoing next weekend when Disney's Zootopia opens. That film has already begun its overseas rollout, where it made $31.2m from 22 territories over the weekend.
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