Updated: 'Deadpool' Targets #1 Opening Over 'How to Be Single' & 'Zoolander 2'
SATURDAY UPDATE: Deadpool brought in an estimated $47.5 million on Friday and an "A" CinemaScore. That's 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. Here's another look at the records Deadpool is looking to break:

  • Largest February Opening Weekend: $85.1 million (Fifty Shades of Grey
  • Largest 4-Day President's Day Weekend: $93 million (Fifty Shades of Grey
  • Largest R-Rated Opening Weekend: $91.7 million (The Matrix Reloaded
  • Largest R-Rated Comic Adaptation Opening Weekend: $70.8 million (300
  • Largest Winter Season Opening Weekend: $89.2 million (American Sniper
  • Largest Opening Ever for 20th Century Fox: $108.4 million (Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

Right now, it looks like all of those records will be falling, but for even more detail on the records click here.

As far as other newcomers are concerned, How to be Single is performing mostly as expected, opening Friday with an estimated $5.25 million and a "B" CinemaScore, heading toward a three-day weekend around $17-19 million and a four-day weekend in the low $20 millions. Zoolander 2, however, is struggling. The fifteen-years-later sequel brought in an estimated $4.2 million on Friday along with a "C+" CinemasScore. The film is looking at a three-day around $11.5 million and a four-day total that might not reach $15 million. We'll have a complete update for you tomorrow morning.

FRIDAY UPDATE: 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.

We're not quite ready to update our weekend projections, though they already seem to be low, if not considerably low. The 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. For more on the records Deadpool is hunting this weekend click here.

Warner's How to be Single brought in $700,000 during its Thursday preview frame. On the higher side of the comparisons, The Best Man Holiday brought in $750,000 before opening with $30.1 million and 21 Jump Street also started its opening weekend off with $700,000 before opening with $36.3 million. Otherwise, Sisters brought in $769,000 and opened with $13.9 million and just last month Dirty Grandpa made $660,000 from Thursday previews and opened with $11.1 million. How to be Single seems more likely to open in the mid-20s than the high-teens, which makes for a quality comparison difficult unless it actually manages to crack that $30 million mark, which we definitely aren't ready to say it will.

Finally, Paramount's Zoolander 2 brought in $750,000 from Thursday previews, which began at 7 PM in approximately 2,500 theaters.

WEEKEND PREVIEW: It's President's Day weekend, and last year it was the R-rated Fifty Shades of Grey dominating all things box office with a record-smashing $85.1 million opening that bumped up to $93 million for the four-day. This weekend brings a different kind of R-rated heat to the box office in the form of the superhero feature Deadpool, which won't likely top Fifty Shades' record, but that doesn't mean it isn't looking to perform in a big way. Additional new releases include the romantic comedy How to be Single and the fifteen-years later sequel, Zoolander 2, both of which will battle for a distant second.

Arriving in a big way this weekend, Fox's Deadpool will hit 3,558 theaters with its sights set on settling among the top ranks of R-rated comic book adaptation opening weekends. The list is currently topped by 2007's 300 with $70.8 million, followed by 2009's Watchmen with $55.2 million. The film is looking at something in the range of a $60-65 million three-day weekend and once you add Monday to the equation it could be pushing $75 million. Not exactly Fifty Shades of Grey numbers, but well above Ghost Rider's 2007 President's Day weekend opening of $52 million. Considering Deadpool is rated R and it's $58 million budget is just over half of what it cost to produce Ghost Rider, it's no surprise there are rumors of a sequel already being greenlit.

Deadpool's 3,558 theaters include 374 IMAX screens and 467 premium large format (PLF) screens and, like all of this weekend's new wide releases, it will begin screening tonight, Thursday, at 7 PM in what will probably be around 2,500 theaters. Fifty Shades kicked off its four-day weekend with $8.6 million in Thursday night previews, but another bar for comparison would be 22 Jump Street, which played in 2,746 theaters on Thursday night and brought in $5.5 million before opening with $57 million. Expect Deadpool to top that number and it's already performing very well overseas, bringing in over $12 million from seven early release markets.

In the UK, Deadpool brought in $3.4 million on its opening Wednesday, 142% higher than X-Men: Days of Future Past. In Australia it opened with $2.1 million, in France $1.8 million and another $1.4 million in Taiwan (plus $1.7 million from Monday and Tuesday sneaks), the biggest Fox opening day ever in that market. The film is opening in over 60 international markets this weekend.

WANT MORE? Record Breaker? Some Box Office Records 'Deadpool' May Be Hunting

The weekend's other two new wide releases will be interesting to watch, along with the third weekend for Kung Fu Panda, which stands to do quite well with children out of school and previous animated films doing well over the course of this weekend. It still feels a safe bet to expect the Panda to finish fourth, but if it drops less than 25% it could find itself slipping into third, possibly besting either How to be Single or Zoolander 2 for the four-day.

It's a judgment call when deciding between New Line and MGM's How to be Single and Paramount's Zoolander 2 for the second position at this weekend's box office. How to be Single benefits from being the clear bit of counter-programming, kicking its weekend off with "Girls Night Out" screenings on Thursday while Zoolander 2 is sure to find itself losing audience members as a result of opening against Deadpool. One thing to consider when it comes to Zoolander is Paramount did manage to eek out $26.2 million from Anchorman 2 back in December 2013, nine years after the original was released. But nine years is different than the fifteen years that separates Zoolander from its sequel and Anchorman 2 was up against the second weekend of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which isn't quite the same as the first weekend of a brand new comic book adaptation that has already scored a "Certified Fresh" rating at RottenTomatoes.

Both Zoolander 2 and How to be Single should finish the three-day weekend around $20 million, in a tight race for second place. Neither is getting particularly good reviews with How to be Single just barely edging out Zoolander at RottenTomatoes with 47% and 28% ratings respectively as of publication. That 19% gap might signify the slight edge the Dakota Johnson and Rebel Wilson comedy has in the end.

The Coens' Hail, Caesar! will round out the top five, but how well it performs will be interesting to see. The "C-" CinemaScore it received last weekend does not bode well for its second weekend prospects. The last seven films to receive a "C-" CinemaScore have all dropped over 50% in their second weekend with the average second weekend drop being 59.7%. Can Hail, Caesar! buck that trend? If you're thinking the fact it's a Coen film changes much, just know another fan favorite director, Michael Mann, saw Blackhat receive a "C-" just last year and it dropped 57.3% in its second weekend.

A couple other comparisons to keep in mind include The Monuments Men, which performed better in its opening weekend than Hail, Caesar!, but also starred Clooney and followed the same release pattern. It dipped only 29.7% in its second weekend. Also, a pair of previous Clooney and Coen teamings include Burn After Reading and Intolerable Cruelty, which dropped 42.3% and 48% in their second weekends respectively. All things considered, as well as the fact last weekend's numbers were likely affected by the Super Bowl, a 40-45% drop this weekend seems a safe bet.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is losing another 452 theaters and after a 37.3% drop last weekend, which was the smallest drop among the weekend's top 15, it's looking to do the same if not better this weekend. It should once again be bunched up with The Revenant and if it weren't for Deadpool stealing some of its audience it would probably do even better than we're currently projecting and still may. This, however, looks as if it might be the first weekend the film finishes outside the top five.

Also opening this weekend is the newest Michael Moore documentary Where to Invade Next in approximately 300 theaters as well as UTV's Fitoor in 147 theaters.

Just below are projections for both the three-day and four-day weekends.

  • Deadpool (3,558 theaters) - $62.27 M
  • How to be Single (3,343 theaters) - $20.56 M
  • Zoolander 2 (3,394 theaters) - $20.36 M
  • Kung Fu Panda 3 (3,844 theaters) - $14.87 M
  • Hail, Caesar! (2,248 theaters) - $6.81 M
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens (1,810 theaters) - $5.09 M
  • The Revenant (2,266 theaters) - $4.72 M
  • The Choice (2,631 theaters) - $3.57 M
  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2,931 theaters) - $3.19 M
  • Ride Along 2 (1,562 theaters) - $2.64 M

  • Deadpool - $72.61 M
  • How to be Single - $23.71 M
  • Zoolander 2 - $23.75 M
  • Kung Fu Panda 3 - $18.91 M
  • Hail, Caesar! - $7.93 M
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens - $5.95 M
  • The Revenant - $5.43 M
  • The Choice - $4.73 M
  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - $3.81 M
  • Ride Along 2 - $3.16 M

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