The box office is proving to be quite kind to the Ryan Reynolds blockbuster Deadpool. The merc with a mouth has slain records for February releases already, and shows no signs of stopping, despite a drop in sales.
It was a gamble even making the film, but 20th Century Fox has learned from previous mistakes. After having debuted the anti-hero in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, they had earned plenty of hate from movie critics as well as comic book fans. They had sewn his mouth shut and made him almost unrecognizable as the character created by Rob Liefeld.
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Ryan Reynolds had teamed up with some fans for the second round after a leaked trailer from the first film’s days had proven that the world wanted the costumed version as well as Reynolds’ trademarked and twisted sense of humor. Parts of the leaked trailer had been re-shot and added to the final film, and after being released with an R rating, Deadpool‘s box office has proven itself.
The fans finally got the movie they wanted, right down to the inside jokes and fourth-wall breaking moments. Having brought in over $180 million in the span of two weeks, Fox has found their big seller at last and realized that giving the fans what they want works.
Some had argued at first that the R rating might actually limit the revenue that Deadpool would bring in, and China’s ban on the film over its violence and sexual references seemed to confirm it. Transformers: Age of Extinction had become a bestseller due to Chinese audiences alone.
Obviously, restricting the film to adult audiences hasn’t stunted Deadpool‘s box office numbers at all.
Even two weeks after its theatrical release, Deadpool is dwarfing the release of the kid-friendly Kung Fu Panda 3, the religious Risen, and the horror spectacle The Witch. The film aimed at the “other side” of the Valentine’s Day audience, How to be Single, although a success, hasn’t dented Deadpool‘s records.
Possible alternate reasons for the inability of these other films to even come close to toppling the merc with a mouth in theaters could also be to blame. Kung Fu Panda 3 is a sequel to an animated film, which is rarely a good thing even though Toy Story 3 was still a big seller. It was also released during a period where children might not have had the chance to see it until they got out of school.
The Witch might have been crippled due to its titular similarity to Vin Diesel’s The Last Witch Hunter, a film which critics and moviegoers were not impressed with. How to be Single may have turned audiences off due to the inclusion of Rebel Wilson as a headliner. She is not known for her box office grabbing roles.
— Variety (@Variety) February 20, 2016
Variety says that third place was taken by the faith film Risen, and religious films rarely perform well at the theater. It’s impressive that it took a spot only two away from Deadpool.
Even a 65 percent drop in revenue still left the merc with a mouth bringing in more than its top three competitors combined, according to The Wrap.
It doesn’t appear that Deadpool‘s box office domination is letting newcomers pass it any time soon.
[Image via 20th Century Fox]