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Record Breaker: A Look at the Box Office Records 'Deadpool' Has Already Broken

by Brad Brevet
 

 
February 11, 2016

UPDATE #3: With an estimated $132.75 million over the three-day weekend and an estimated $150 million for the four-day, Deadpool has crushed all the records previously discussed. Here's a look at just how well it did:

  • Largest February Thursday Preview: $12.7 million
    PREVIOUS RECORD: $8.6 million (Fifty Shades of Grey)
  • Largest Opening Day in February: $47.5 million (estimated)
    PREVIOUS RECORD: $30.2 million (Fifty Shades of Grey)
  • Largest Single Day in February: $47.5 million on Friday* (estimated)
    PREVIOUS RECORD: $36.7 million on 2/14/15 (Fifty Shades of Grey)
  • Largest February Opening Weekend: $132.75 million (estimated)
    PREVIOUS RECORD: $85.1 million (Fifty Shades of Grey)
  • Largest 4-Day President's Day Weekend: $150 million (estimated)
    PREVIOUS RECORD: $93 million (Fifty Shades of Grey)
  • Largest R-Rated Opening Weekend: $132.75 million (estimated)
    PREVIOUS RECORD: $91.7 million (The Matrix Reloaded)
  • Largest R-Rated Comic Adaptation Opening Weekend: $132.75 million (estimated)
    PREVIOUS RECORD: $70.8 million (300)
  • Largest Winter Season Opening Weekend: $132.75 million (estimated)
    PREVIOUS RECORD: $89.2 million (American Sniper)
  • Largest Opening Ever for 20th Century Fox: $132.75 million (estimated)
    PREVIOUS RECORD: $108.4 million (Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith)
* All three of Deadpool's days opening weekend beat the previous record, Friday's total was the largest of the lot.

For a complete look at the weekend click here.

UPDATE #2: Deadpool brought in an estimated $47.5 million on Friday, the largest Friday ever in February, besting Fifty Shades of Grey's $30.2 million Friday last year by a whopping $17.3 million. Projections now have the film opening with $110-116 million for the three-day weekend and possibly as much as $130 million for the four-day, both of which would obviously be records.

Additionally, this will become the largest opening weekend for any film starring Ryan Reynolds. X-Men Origins: Wolverine previously held that distinction with $85 million. Perhaps not-so-coincidentally that film also featured Reynolds as Wade Wilson (aka Deadpool), a portrayal that, however, gets a lambasting in the newest film. Reynolds second highest-grossing film also gets made fun of in Deadpool, that being Green Lantern, which opened with $53.1 million back in 2011.

Right now, it looks like most of these records will be falling, and by a wide margin. We'll have a full update tomorrow, morning.

UPDATE #1: Deadpool got off to an excellent start last night, raking in $12.7 million from Thursday previews, which began at 7PM in 2,975 theaters. This is the largest February preview ever, topping Fifty Shades of Grey, which brought in $8.6 million last year. It's also the largest R-rated preview ever, topping The Hangover Part II's $10.4 million preview session back in 2011, though that was part of a long weekend with the film actually releasing on Thursday.

One thing to keep in mind, no movie that has brought in over $10 million in Thursday night previews (this excludes that Wednesday preview for Hangover 2) has opened lower than $84.6 million for the three-day. The lowest opening is that of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which brought in $13 million in previews and opened with $84.6 million. Other previews to consider, Captain America: The Winter Soldier brought in $10.3 million from previews and opened with $95 million in 2014 and that same year Guardians of the Galaxy earned $11.2 million in previews and opened with $94.3 million. It should be mentioned, however, Deadpool is the only R-rated film to have brought in over $10 million on a Thursday, so we're in unprecedented waters here.

Some numbers to keep an eye on now are the $30.2 million Fifty Shades brought in on Friday last year and the $30.4 million American Sniper made on its first Friday in wide release. Should Deadpool top those two numbers we could be looking at a record-setting weekend. The original post follows...

Deadpool is the weekend's most anticipated new release and it will begin screening tonight, Thursday, at 7PM in theaters across the country. As a result, talk of the film breaking records is one thing we didn't focus on in our weekend preview, but there could be a few up for grabs for the newest comic book adaptation.

BoxOfficeMojo remained conservative in its opening weekend projection for the film, expecting something in the $62 million range for the three-day and $72 million for the four-day weekend. As impressive as those numbers are, there is a possibility Deadpool busts down the front-door and starts blowing away records right away.

For starters, the record for the largest Thursday preshow in the month of February is currently held by Fifty Shades of Grey at $8.6 million from 2,830 theaters starting at 8 PM. Deadpool will begin its run an hour earlier and is expected to play in 2,500+ theaters, some of which will be IMAX and PLF screens. This is one number that could prove a solid early indicator, suggesting what we could be looking at for the weekend.

As it turns out, Fifty Shades is our window into several of the records Deadpool will be hunting. The film took its $8.6 million Thursday previews and turned it into an $85.1 million, February opening weekend record. That number is also the second largest Winter season opening weekend, second to American Sniper's $89.2 million weekend a month earlier.

Fifty Shades would go on to gross a record-breaking $93 million over the four-day, President's Day weekend, besting the previous record set by Valentine's Day by nearly $30 million. Can Deadpool climb that high?

Both Fifty Shades of Grey and the aforementioned American Sniper are also important in the record books as they are both R-rated features. Yet, neither film holds the record opening for an R-rated movie as that record belongs to The Matrix Reloaded with $91.7 million.

Deadpool will have to get off to a tremendous start for that record to be in any kind of serious jeopardy, but a top five finish might not be out of the realm of possibility. The fifth slot is currently occupied by The Passion of the Christ with $83.8 million and below that is 300 with $70.8 million, which brings up another point, Deadpool has a shot at holding the largest opening weekend for an R-rated comic book adaptation. Here's the current list:

  • 300 - $70,885,301
  • Watchmen - $55,214,334
  • Wanted - $50,927,085
  • 300: Rise of An Empire - $45,038,460
  • Kingsman: The Secret Service - $36,206,331
  • Blade II - $32,528,016
  • Constantine - $29,769,098
  • Sin City - $29,120,273
  • 2 Guns - $27,059,130
  • V for Vendetta - $25,642,340

R-rated comic adaptations are far from the norm and, of the films above, Deadpool carries a smaller budget than all but three of them at only a reported $58 million. Only Blade II ($54m), Sin City ($40m) and V for Vendetta ($54m) were made for less, and the most recent of that lot was V for Vendetta, which was released ten years ago.

Both of the major online ticketing websites, Fandango and MovieTickets, are reporting impressive advance ticket sales for Deadpool. Fandango reports it has been the #1 film in daily sales for the last two weeks and is outselling last year's Ant-Man at the same point in the sales cycle. Of course, Ant-Man only went on to open with $57.2 million so it's going to have to really outsell Ant-Man if it has hope for any of the aforementioned records. We may have some idea of just how much it's outselling Ant-Man by tomorrow morning as Ant-Man brought in $6.4 million from Thursday night preview screenings.

MovieTickets, meanwhile, is reporting that Deadpool accounts for 66% of all tickets sold by the company in the last 24 hours. Of those tickets, over 20% are for moviegoers who are purchasing tickets to see the film on an IMAX and/or premium large format screen.

Tomorrow morning will deliver our first idea as to whether Deadpool has a shot at any of these records once Thursday preview numbers are reported. BoxOfficeMojo will be sure to update our weekend preview with those numbers, as well as numbers for Zoolander 2 and How to be Single, once they come in.

Discuss this story with fellow Box Office Mojo fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @boxofficemojo and author Brad Brevet at @bradbrevet.



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