Sunday February 14, 2016
Box Office: 'Deadpool' Takes Our Milk Money
In December, my nephew Ryan took me to his neighborhood comic book store on 48th and Chicago in South Minneapolis to show it off, since he knows I know a lot about comics and superheroes. While there, I talked to the proprietor about various things, including the new Deadpool movie, which he thought would do incredibly well when it opened in February. He thought it would be a blockbuster. I nodded politely but said nothing. A relatively unknown and profane superhero with a small but rabid fanbase in an R-rated flick? Opening on Valentine’s Day weekend? Right. Good luck with that.
The previous record for a February opening belonged to “Fifty Shades of Grey” ($85 mil last year), followed by “Passion of the Christ” ($83 mil in 2004).
This wekend, “Deadpool” blew past them, grossing an estimated $135 million in three days. That’s the 17th-best opening weekend ever, and the highest for an R-rated movie. (Previous: “The Matrix Reloaded”: $91.7 in May 2003.) So the torch has been passed to a new generation of superheroes: born after Frank Miller, steeped in a bankrupt pop cultural miasma, ready to mock anything and everything.
My review is here. (Psst. I wasn’t much of a fan.)
A few extra b.o. thoughts:
- Why are the top three February box-office hits R-rated movies? Do we just open more “R” movies that month?
- There are now four months that don’t have a $100 million opener: January (best: $89 mil), August ($94), September ($48) and October ($55). Unless studios switch things up, I assume Sept. will be the last to fall.
“Deadpool” also grossed $125 million abroad, so it’s not just the United States that loves this kind of thing. Snark is global.