More than doubling the highest weekend projections of $70 million, the “adults-only” (yeah, right) superhero action-flick Deadpool took in $150 million over the 4-day President’s Day weekend (with a Valentine’s holiday boost).
Heavy on graphic violence, strong language, and sexual content (verbal and visual), the success of Marvel’s first Rated R tentpole blockbuster (produced by Fox, not Disney) shattered box office records – including the biggest February opening ever, the biggest R-rated opening ever, and the biggest opening for a debut filmmaker ever, director Tim Miller (a former Academy Award nominee for Best Animated Short).
More importantly, Deadpool also obliterated the conventional wisdom that a comic book movie with hard-R content couldn’t be as successful as its PG-13 counterparts. On the contrary, Deadpool is now officially more successful than most. That point is driven home most resoundingly by the fact that Deadpool also became the biggest X-Men brand opener ever.
More money in 4 days than any other X-Men film ever. Let that sink in for a minute.
As shocking as that may be to some, it was actually inevitable. The audience that has helped comic book superhero movies become the most popular genre of this new century has also grown with that genre over the past 15 years. That audience is older now, and so they want comic book movies to act their age.
A flurry are destined to be on the horizon, although most will inevitably fail because studios will erroneously think that content – rather than uniqueness – will be enough. But regardless of how well (or poorly) they’re received, we will be getting plenty of them for the foreseeable future.
The first? According to Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds and producer Simon Kinberg, it could possibly be X-Force, the darker, more adult version of X-Men. Also likely: the long-delayed Gambit standalone.
So have fun with all that, parents.