Deadpool would love to catch up with — and surpass — The Passion of the Christ, the highest-grossing domestic R-rated film of all-time. He says exactly that in Deadpool 2. (Deadpool does lead the R-rated category in worldwide gross with $783 million, and that was without China.) The first film had an additional boost, opening over President’s Day weekend, which gave it a four-day total of $152 million, and it led the box office for three straight weeks. The sequel is about to get some holiday days to cash in on, but also a Memorial Day weekend during which Solo: A Star Wars Story is going to eat into its chances. Keep your eye on the third weekend: If Deadpool 2 can match the $285 million the first film had made by week three, it may be on track to grab another $85 million and pass Mel Gibson’s film to own both the domestic and international R-rated records.
The total box office numbers for movies that open to more than $120 million are mightily impressive. Excluding some movies in the Twilight saga and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 1 from the equation, most movies that open above that threshold manage to get across $300 million total. DC’s Suicide Squad and Batman v Superman are on the low-end, with $325 and $330 million totals, respectively. Deadpool 2 is in a better position than those films: Like the first film, it is critically acclaimed, currently sitting 83% on the Tomatometer, which could inform word-of-mouth and repeat viewings. Internationally, the film is already over $301 million and will more than recoup it’s $110 million budget plus prints and advertising.
The good news is that Paramount’s Book Club met projections with a $12.5 million start — though to be fair, projections were all over the map. But the movie, which sits at 58% on the Tomatometer, did not match the heights of other May counterprogrammers from years past: Think Letters to Juliet, Unfaithful, and Hope Floats, amongst others, which all opened in the $13-$17 million range. There is a very healthy average multiple of 3.62 for female-led features during this time, which could put Book Club close to $45 million by the end of its run, if word-of-mouth can sustain it. Word-of-mouth is not helping McCarthy’s Life of the Party (39% on the Tomatometer and a 49% Audience Score), which dropped nearly 57% in its second weekend to earn just $7.7 million.
Global Road, formerly known as Open Road Pictures, may have a Best Picture trophy on their mantle for Spotlight, but the studio is still yet to open a movie to more than $10 million — that’s what their Nightcrawler opened to in 2014 . Their new family film, Show Dogs, bowed this weekend to $6 million. The only film to open in May to less than $6 million and go on to reach the $20 million mark was Universal’s Flipper back in 1996.
Apart from Deadpool 2 this weekend, the two best per-theater-averages belonged to a 50-year-old film and a legend who has been making films for five decades. Christopher Nolan’s new restoration of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey made $200,000 in just four theaters. Elsewhere, Paul Schrader’s First Reformed (97% on the Tomatometer) grossed $100,270 in four theaters — A24 will be expanding it into more theaters next weekend. Black Panther also officially dropped out of the top 10 after 13 weeks. Its total stands at just under $700 million domestic.
Alien: Covenant managed to snatch the number 1 spot from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in a close $36.1 vs. $34.6 million battle. It then went on to have the second-worst multiple of last summer with a 2.05, earning just over $72 million. (The Tupac Shakur film, All Eyez On Me, had the lowest of the summer, with a 1.69 multiple.) Amy Schumer’s Snatched dropped nearly 60% after its Mother’s Day weekend opening, much like McCarthy’s Life of the Party did. The top 10 films grossed a collective $115.3 million, less than Deadpool 2’s entire three-day take, which led this weekend’s batch to a total of $197.9 million.
Five months after the release of The Last Jedi, Solo: A Star Wars Story opens over the more traditional Memorial Day weekend for the franchise. Initial ticket sales were outpacing that of Black Panther and tracking figures have it somewhere in the $170 million range for the four-day holiday. That would well surpass the record $139.8 million start for 2007’s Pirate’s of the Caribbean: At World’s End, the highest Memorial Day opening ever, and put it into a battle with Deadpool 2 for possibly the third-best gross of the summer. Avengers: Infinity War will be passing $600 million this week (and is over $1.81 billion worldwide) and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is still on the horizon as well.
[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]