‘Deadpool’ Delivers New Marvel Success to Fox With Record Debut

Actor Ryan Reynolds attends the 'Deadpool' fan event at AMC Empire Theatre in New York City.

Photographer: Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images
  • $135 million tally tops `Fifty Shades' to set February record
  • Film's holiday total could reach $150 million, studio says

“Deadpool,” based on one of Marvel’s edgier, lesser-known comic characters, opened as the No. 1 film in North American theaters, setting an industry record for a February weekend release and delivering the biggest debut of the year for 20th Century Fox.

The risqué superhero feature, starring Ryan Reynolds, garnered $135 million from Friday to Sunday in the U.S. and Canada, researcher ComScore Inc. estimated in a statement. That beat the $85.2 million February record set last year by “Fifty Shades of Grey.” The family film “Kung Fu Panda 3,” from DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. and Fox, slipped to No. 2 in its third weekend with $19.7 million.

The new superhero picture, which also set an all-time opening record for an R-rated film, could reach $150 million over the extended Presidents Day weekend, the studio division of 21st Century Fox Inc. said in an e-mail. While Marvel is owned by Walt Disney Co., competitors have movie rights to certain characters from the comic book publisher. Fox has X-Men and Fantastic Four .

“Deadpool” scored well with critics, with 84 percent positive reviews, according to aggregator Rottentomatoes.com, and demonstrated again that fans retain their appetites for fresh superhero material. The film cost $58 million to make, according to Box Office Mojo. It was expected to earn $93 million over the four days, said analysts at BoxOffice.com.

Of two other new releases this weekend, “How to be Single” opened in third place with $18.8 million in revenue.

The film features Rebel Wilson, Dakota Johnson and Leslie Mann in a romantic comedy via Warner Bros., the studio division of Time Warner Inc. BoxOffice.com was forecasting $19 million through the extended holiday weekend. Time Warner’s New Line Cinema unit and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. are co-producers.

The sequel “Zoolander 2” from Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures collected $15.7 million from Friday to Sunday to land in fourth place. It was predicted to earn about $20 million over the extended weekend, according to Gitesh Pandya, at Box Office Guru. The comedy, which reunites Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson, was slammed by reviewers, getting only 23 percent positive notices, according to Rottentomatoes.com.

RankMovieRevenue
(mln)
Pct.
Chg.
TheatersAvg./
Theater
Total
(mln)
Weeks
1Deadpool$135.0  0%3,558$37,943$135.01
2Kung Fu Panda 3   19.7 -73,844   5,112   93.93
3How To Be Single   18.8  03,343   5,609   18.81
4Zoolander 2   15.7  03,394   4,611   15.71
5Revenant    6.9 -12,266   3,045 159.28
6Hail, Caesar!    6.6 -422,248   2,930  21.42
7Star Wars    6.2 -111,810   3,422 914.89
8Choice, The    5.3 -132,631   1,995  13.32
9Ride Along 2    4.1 -91,564   2,642  82.75
10The Boy    2.9 -291,450   2,009  30.84
Top 10 Films Grosses
This week
(mln)
Year Ago
(mln)
  Pct.
  Chg.
$221.0$196.2+12.7%
All films Year-to-Date
    2016
   (mln)
   2015
  (mln)
  Pct.
  Chg.
 $1,445.7$1,400.8 +3.2%
Source: ComScore Inc.
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