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Deadpool kicks Matrix's ass as it sets new box office record

2016-02-15 11:43

Los Angeles — The R-rated Deadpool has taken the box office by storm, annihilating records with an eye-popping $135m from its first three days in U.S. theatres, according to comScore estimates Sunday.

The Fox film, which stars Ryan Reynolds as the foul-mouthed superhero, easily trounced last year's record-setting $85.2m February debut of the erotic drama Fifty Shades of Grey. It also became the biggest R-rated opening ever, surpassing The Matrix Reloaded, which opened to $91.8m in May of 2003.

Analysts are predicting that the Tim Miller-directed film, which cost a mere $58m to produce, could go on to make $150m by the end of the holiday weekend. As recently as Thursday, Deadpool was expected to pull in only $80m across the three days, but the Marvel comic, often a best-seller, proved its popular appeal and then some — and it didn't have to compromise with a PG-13 rating either.

"This movie is the very definition of an expectation-buster. Nobody saw this coming," said Paul Dergarabedian, comScore's senior media analyst. "It doesn't feel like a cookie-cutter superhero movie. It feels like something unique. You've got to sometimes take risks and go against conventional wisdom to come out a winner."

IMAX screens accounted for an estimated $16.8m of Deadpool's total. The film, notably, was not released in 3D.

Deadpool also had a massive showing internationally, bringing in an estimated $125m from 62 territories for a $260m global total.

The debut is also a bit of a superhero redemption story for Reynolds whose costly Green Lantern adaptation disappointed audiences and at the box office in 2011.

Coming in a distant second was last weekend's No. 1 film Kung Fu Panda 3 with $19.7m, which fell only 7%. The DreamWorks Animation film has earned $93.9m in just three weeks in theatres.

In third place, the R-rated Dakota Johnson and Rebel Wilson rom-com How to Be Single didn't make any big waves with its $18.8m out of the gates. The Warner Bros. film cost $38m to produce and provided some counter programming to the hyper violent Deadpool.

The dismally reviewed Ben Stiller comedy Zoolander 2, meanwhile, debuted in fourth place to only $15.7m. The Paramount film, which Stiller directed, cost around $50m to make. The first film, Zoolander, opened in 2001, just weeks after the September 11 attacks, to a meek $15.5m and went on to gross only $45.2m in North America. It found a second life on home video, though and has become a quotable cultural staple. Audiences seem less enthusiastic this time around, though.

Dergarabedian thinks that both How to Be Single and Zoolander 2 could see a healthy uptick from the Valentine's Day crowd Sunday.
But overall, the box office is healthy, up an estimated 3.2% from last year and it's all thanks to the snarky, fourth-wall-busting Deadpool and its historic debut.

"These are summer numbers," Dergarabedian said. "It's summer in February."

(Gif: giphy)

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