Weekend Box Office

Deadpool Scores Huge Opening Weekend Grosses

Kung Fu Panda 3 and How To Be Single round out the top three.

by | February 15, 2016 | Comments



With a jaw-dropping opening that shattered all industry expectations, the super hero action-comedy Deadpool conquered the global box office with a stunning $300M launch – a gross more than five times its production cost.

In North America, Deadpool crushed records with a mammoth $150M four-day holiday debut, according to estimates, and $132.8M over the Friday-to-Sunday portion. That was by far the biggest Presidents’ Day weekend launch ever soaring past the $93M of last year’s Fifty Shades of Grey and also the best ever for the month of February.

Based on the Marvel comic book character and released by Fox, the Ryan Reynolds smash generated the best opening day, three-day, and four-day weekends ever for any R-rated film. In a world where box office records are broken constantly, no R film has managed to break the high bar set by The Matrix Reloaded back in 2003. Until now. That heavily hyped sequel bowed to $42.5M on its opening day – a Thursday including Wednesday night pre-shows starting at 10pm. Deadpool beat that record with $47.5M including pre-shows. The Neo sequel posted a Friday-to-Sunday of $91.8M and a four-day Thursday-to-Sunday bow of $134.3M. Of course, ticket prices were lower back then but as a sci-fi sequel, anticipation was sky high at the time.

Superhero films make much of their money from younger kids so Deadpool‘s performance was exceptional considering the large number of people who may have wanted to go, but were not taken to see it. Instead of a brand that was universally known, this blockbuster scored the old fashioned way – they made a damn good movie. Studios have oversaturated the market with super hero films both from the recent past and the numerous ones that fans know are littered on the upcoming calendars. Deadpool offered something new, refreshing, and edgy. Critics responded with fantastic reviews. The studio embargoed those reviews until right before the Super Bowl knowing they would prompt chatter among sports fans during the big game which would funnel right into the film’s release a few days later.

Word of mouth has been through the roof and recommendations from those who saw it first have been a major selling tool to convince others. The CinemaScore grade was a terrific A and scores across all metrics are showing that customers absolutely love this product. That gives the action-comedy a bright future as many not familiar with the character may become convinced in the days and weeks ahead to take a trip. This is in stark contrast to 2011’s Green Lantern which Reynolds anchored on its way to a disappointing $116.6M domestic final. Deadpool grossed more than that in its first three days and its budget was significantly lower at just $58M which is very small by super hero movie standards. Deadpool averaged a jaw-dropping $42,159 over four days from 3,558 theaters and $37,310 over three days. Next weekend provides little competition as it charges towards the $200M mark.

Among films based on Marvel comic book characters, Deadpool ranks fifth all-time behind The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Iron Man 3, and Spider-Man 3. All were PG-13 films and three of those four were in 3D while Deadpool was 2D only. Higher ticket prices did come from IMAX and other PLF screens, though. 830 total screens delivered 25% of the gross as fans of the foul-mouthed anti-hero were happy to pay extra for a premium experience. IMAX generated records with $18.4M over four days in North America from 374 screens while 232 overseas screens brought in an additional $9M for a global $27.4M haul with much more to come.

Also impressive is the fact that Deadpool posted the third biggest opening of all-time for a non-sequel after Avengers (kind of a sequel, but not fully) and The Hunger Games. The mercenary character comes from the X-Men franchise and Deadpool actually opened better than any movie from that series. The biggest debut for that property was the $122.9M four-day Memorial Day bow for the third pic, The Last Stand, and Deadpool made more in its first three days. It also opened bigger than every Captain America, Thor, Hulk, and Superman movie. The daily breakdown for Deadpool this weekend was $47.5M for Friday (including $12.7M from Thursday pre-shows starting at 7pm), $42.6M for Saturday, $42.7M for Valentine’s Day Sunday, and an estimated $17.3M for Presidents’ Day Monday.

Moviegoers around the world were equally pumped for Deadpool as the overseas launch saw an estimated $150M through Monday from 12,241 screens in 61 markets. Leading the way was the U.K. with $20.1M followed by Russia with $12.4M and Australia with $10.1M. Italy, Spain, and South Korea open next weekend and Japan launches in June. Look for the worldwide tally to smash $500M sometime next week.

Following its two-week run at the top, Kung Fu Panda 3 slipped to second place but still posted very healthy numbers thanks in part to the start of many school holidays. Fox hauled in an estimated $26M over the long weekend allowing the cume to break the century mark in 18 days with a figure of $100.3M. The Friday-to-Sunday portion of $19.8M dipped a mere 7% from last weekend. It is now running 21% behind the pace of its 2011 predecessor.

North America is the world’s number two market for Panda 3. China is still tops with a new cume of $124.7M through Sunday allowing it to surpass the final $124.2M total of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. DreamWorks Animation planned the film’s release to be right ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday and the strategy paid off handsomely. With $262.5M worldwide already, and most major markets yet to open, the road ahead will see Po’s numbers swell this spring.

Dakota Johnson and Rebel Wilson, who enjoyed big number one openers last year with Fifty Shades of Grey and Pitch Perfect 2 respectively, delivered a moderate opening for their new dating comedy How To Be Single which grossed an estimated $20.6M over four days. The Warner Bros. release averaged $6,162 over the long holiday weekend from 3,343 locations. Reviews were mixed for the R-rated pic.

Produced by New Line and MGM, Single played heavily to the gals. Exit polls showed that the crowd was a whopping 82% female while 61% were under 35. Word-of-mouth is lukewarm as the CinemaScore grade was a B. Valentine’s Day helped as Sunday was the highest grossing day of the four-day period with plenty of girls-night-out group business.

Critics and audiences both gave a thumbs down to Ben Stiller’s comedy sequel Zoolander 2 which had a disappointing opening in fourth place with an estimated $16M over four days from 3,394 locations resulting in a mild $4,714 average over the long weekend. The Friday-to-Sunday portion took in $14M for a $4,110 three-day average which fell below the opening of the first Zoolander from 2001. That well-liked pic bowed to $15.5M over a non-holiday weekend in the weak month of September soon after the 9/11 tragedy plus had much lower ticket prices and 26% fewer theaters.

Reviews were harsh for Zoolander 2 which reunited main cast members like Stiller, Owen Wilson, and Will Ferrell plus added Penelope Cruz and Kristen Wiig. The lousy C+ CinemaScore grade indicated that paying customers were not happy with what they invested their time and money on. Paramount saw an audience that was 51% female and 62% over 25. With better comedy options over the long weekend, customers went elsewhere for laughs. The PG-13 film, which Stiller also directed, cost over $50M to produce and its final domestic gross will not reach that mark. On a weekend when something fresh and new dominated, this recycled material offered the same old thing.

Having the top two films in the country was not enough for Fox which also had a third film in the top five with Oscar contender The Revenant which collected an estimated $7.8M over four days to boost its tally to $160.1M. Worldwide, the Leonardo DiCaprio hit has taken in $362.1M and even swept the BAFTAs over the weekend with five wins including Best Film, Director, and Actor.

From a franchise that used to be at Fox for decades, Star Wars: The Force Awakens was bumped from the top three for the first time. BB8 and friends saw an estimated $7.6M this weekend in its ninth round and shot its domestic cume up to $916.3M. The worldwide haul now sits at $2.03 billion with the next official sequel Episode VIII just now starting its shooting schedule for a targeted release date of December 15, 2017. Another $2 billion could be in store that winter.

Suffering the worst drop among holdovers in the top ten was the Coen Brothers comedy Hail, Caesar! which placed seventh in its sophomore frame with an estimated $7.2M. Universal has banked $22M in 11 days and looks headed for a $30-33M final. Among wide releases from the directors playing in 1,500 or more theaters, this is their worst performance. Valentine’s Day helped the romance The Choice hold up well with an estimated $6M over the long weekend. Cume to date is $14M for Lionsgate going to about $22M.

Universal’s sequel Ride Along 2 followed with an estimated $5M while the STX thriller The Boy scared up an estimated $3.6M. Totals are $83.6M and $31.4M, respectively.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $249.8M over four days which was up 11% from last year’s Presidents’ Day frame when Fifty Shades of Grey opened at number one with $93M; and up a healthy 22% from 2014’s holiday when The LEGO Movie remained in the top spot with $63.5M.


Get earlier box office updates and analysis by following BoxOfficeGuru.com on Twitter.

  • Ben Marxx

    No mention of Deadpool being withheld from China altogether, which is where I live. I’m disappointed I won’t be seeing this until…who knows when?

    • Catalyst

      It’s not being “withheld” it was banned. Fox would love to release it there, but can’t.

    • Jay

      Overnight flight to japan πŸ˜‰

    • James Vincent

      Come to America!

  • MontyCircus

    “The Neo sequel posted a Friday-to-Sunday of $91.8M and a four-day Thursday-to-Sunday bow of $134.3M. Of course, ticket prices were lower back then but as a sci-fi sequel, anticipation was sky high at the time.”

    Even if you adjust for inflation, “Deadpool” did better and sold more tickets than “The Matrix Reloaded”.

    • William Ackerman

      If you adjust for inflation, The Matrix Reloaded made 7.2 million in Wednesday previews before posting 54.1 million on Thursday during the day. Today, that would be counted as a 61.3 million opening day. Over it’s first four days, it would have made 193.7 million. Deadpool did make more over the traditional Fri-Sun period adjusted, 132 vs. 135 million but as Matrix opened on a Thursday, it is not an apples to apples comparison and adjusting for inflation, Matrix did make more in 4 days.

      • Clint3po

        Well thank God this time all that money actually went to a great movie and not a crappy sci-fi sequel that few people acknowledge it even exists.

        • William Ackerman

          I’d hardly call 73% at RT crappy. Not as good as the first for sure, but seeing it as crappy is fanboy fueled nitpicking

          • Clint3po

            My point is Matrix 2 is a movie that I and many others have never wanted to revisit over the years however DeadPool I and many others will revisit many times and recommend even more. I am glad the money is going towards a good product this time.
            What did we get in return for making the Matrix Reloaded a hit? Matrix Revolutions, and nobody can deny that movie is an absolute turd from beginning to end. Thankfully it killed the franchise in the process though.

          • Joe Rakowski

            Dude, Looper got a 93% and its dog shit. And the original Jurassic Park got the same score. I would hardly call RT score an authority on quality.

Tag Cloud

Premiere Dates The CW Amazon Prime Video critics Marvel Television serial killer Spectrum Originals richard e. Grant mission: impossible President Mystery Christmas YouTube psycho Crackle Family RT21 Paramount supernatural Pop TV Cartoon Network revenge quibi Pirates Apple BET television Rom-Com DC streaming service best Star Wars what to watch Super Bowl OneApp cancelled TV series Fall TV Pet Sematary Anna Paquin Women's History Month LGBT Funimation TV Land Cosplay Toys sports American Society of Cinematographers Podcast festivals zombies Peacock BET Awards RT History Country Infographic cinemax ghosts kids Netflix Christmas movies werewolf NYCC Action comics OWN Cannes jamie lee curtis 4/20 Marvel Reality Election Rocketman Musical nature The Purge PaleyFest franchise Writers Guild of America Disney Channel MSNBC south america batman TCA 2017 TIFF cartoon slashers sequel Trailer films game show Rock Academy Awards IFC Sundance Emmy Nominations Apple TV Plus anthology Extras sitcom historical drama ITV PlayStation Mudbound Creative Arts Emmys TV renewals reviews Classic Film criterion discovery Mary Tyler Moore reboot Adult Swim comiccon cops Columbia Pictures biography PBS San Diego Comic-Con Martial Arts Nominations GoT adaptation cooking Syfy Black History Month Holidays Schedule war documentaries 2020 Reality Competition Trivia ratings indiana jones See It Skip It justice league zero dark thirty cults USA animated Character Guide Brie Larson cats Ghostbusters Drama HBO Go BAFTA Esquire movie Disney+ Disney Plus name the review Mary Poppins Returns crossover Comedy Central WGN CW Seed Spring TV crime Paramount Network free movies TCA Avengers adventure DC Universe Turner Emmys stoner FXX SXSW Showtime news universal monsters TV Pop The Arrangement 2015 Film Festival First Reviews FX boxoffice space concert 2019 Disney streaming service Biopics transformers Television Academy Tomatazos vampires Sundance TV book DGA tv talk mutant finale Marathons Epix psychological thriller Winners Arrowverse Animation Pixar CBS All Access witnail Mary poppins Music 20th Century Fox Ovation Crunchyroll VH1 Amazon Prime theme song Chernobyl Lifetime VOD Endgame History TBS HBO Superheroe zombie GLAAD dragons Trophy Talk parents robots 45 New York Comic Con Sundance Now romance game of thrones TCM harry potter Song of Ice and Fire Freeform Masterpiece facebook Interview CNN 2017 technology directors cancelled TV shows spy thriller Box Office Hear Us Out TLC thriller CBS green book Amazon Studios A&E indie Sony Pictures spider-man Hallmark Opinion Discovery Channel strong female leads Vudu Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Disney Plus composers comic Amazon Year in Review Fox News Film Western 71st Emmy Awards dceu Quiz joker Photos crime thriller Bravo Winter TV movies FX on Hulu Elton John binge Oscars Tubi Britbox miniseries Dark Horse Comics Stephen King travel Horror 24 frames Holiday Food Network Disney comedies MCU Pride Month TCA Winter 2020 BBC America cancelled singing competition Mindy Kaling Spike Set visit science fiction TNT true crime a nightmare on elm street SDCC Grammys Nat Geo Black Mirror video on demand Countdown asian-american SundanceTV independent children's TV disaster A24 docudrama Starz period drama E! LGBTQ dogs NBC Lionsgate political drama Comics on TV DC Comics casting chucky medical drama blockbuster YA 21st Century Fox ESPN golden globes Universal DirecTV dc teaser latino spanish language Travel Channel FOX Certified Fresh halloween Polls and Games Marvel Studios crime drama talk show The Witch USA Network twilight based on movie canceled TV shows Baby Yoda National Geographic Valentine's Day El Rey Shondaland Heroines Best and Worst screen actors guild dramedy Hallmark Christmas movies elevated horror Sci-Fi Red Carpet natural history sag awards unscripted IFC Films Tarantino 007 Sneak Peek politics X-Men documentary award winner satire cars scary movies series Hulu Ellie Kemper First Look Lifetime Christmas movies The Walking Dead Acorn TV Summer all-time mockumentary dark Warner Bros. canceled christmas movies hist screenings Teen breaking bad Star Trek TruTV ABC Rocky GIFs Musicals diversity Tumblr 2018 die hard Shudder toy story renewed TV shows BBC One doctor who Comic Book Captain marvel Fantasy Turner Classic Movies blaxploitation Binge Guide anime HBO Max child's play social media Kids & Family CMT Watching Series Superheroes spinoff WarnerMedia YouTube Premium aliens Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Netflix ABC Family Logo Comedy APB foreign MTV police drama Video Games E3 Awards Tour cancelled television 2016 streaming spain Calendar video BBC Awards stand-up comedy versus Nickelodeon YouTube Red VICE Lucasfilm rotten movies we love Apple TV+ Thanksgiving romantic comedy Walt Disney Pictures AMC hispanic