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Weekend Box Office: Deadpool Dominates in Record Fashion, Zoolander 2 Stumbles on the Catwalk

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By Chris Kavan - 02/14/16 at 08:49 PM CT

Talk about a bloody Valentine - Deadpool didn't just win the weekend - it pretty much blew away every expectation right along with it. We'll get to those records in a minute, but let us turn to the lukewarm reception for How to Be Single, which really didn't benefit from the holiday and, despite a massive marketing campaign - the disappointing return of Derek Zoolander. Meanwhile, it was another excellent weekend for The Revenant while Star Wars finally exited the top five (but don't worry, it's still making plenty of money). All in all, a weekend for the record books and President's Day will only add to the fun.


Just how good was Deadpool? Thanks to an all-out marketing blitz and a truly unique superhero story, Deadpool completely dominated the weekend with an estimateed $135 million opening. Factoring in President's Day, Deadpool is looking at at least a $150 million four-day total. The records is broke is impressive: the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time (easily topping the $91.7 million of The Matrix Reloaded) the biggest February opening (once again, crushing Fifty Shades of Grey at a mere $45 million). The largest opening weekend for 20th Century Fox (topping all six Star Wars films and every X-Men film). Biggest R-rated comic book movie (just topping the $134 million of Wanted). On the all-time lists, it is the seventh best comic book movie of all time, the 17th best opening of all time (even adjusted for inflation, it still comes in 28th), and one of the biggest holiday weekends of all time (topping every 5-day Thanksgiving release, and should estimates hold, will come in nearly to the $156 million five-day Memorial Day opening of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End). Whew! That's a lot to take in - so how did Deadpool pull this off? Marketing brilliance, great casting and a story that was violent but not too violent - more fun violent. Plus Reynolds championed this for years and he, to paraphrase The Martian, superheroed the sh*t out of Deadpool. Audiences agreed, awarding the film an "A" Cinemascore, which should mean good things for its long-term prospects. It was a perfect union across the board and even if the film is front-loaded, should still top out at over $300 million (not bad on a $58 million budget - one that was even cut down at the last minute). This bodes well for the future - and I think a guaranteed sequel will be even better.


Coming in ahead of either of the other two new films was the animated Kung Fu Panda 3. The film brought in an estimated $19.65 million (probably around $24 million after Monday) and stands at $93.9 million. It held remarkably well, with just a 7.5% drop from last weekend. Even if its overall total continues to trail the two previous films, I don't think Kung Fu Panda 3 is in any danger of losing movie (especially with overseas grosses taken into account). This will top $100 million by next weekend, as it currently is sitting at $94 million. It should have no problem getting to at least $125 million in the coming weeks.


The most Valentine's Day movie released over the weekend was How to Be Single. The female-driven comedy (led by the likes of Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson and Leslie Mann) managed to snag the third place spot with a $18.7 million debut and a likely $20 million President's Day four-day total. The film is operating on a light $38 million budget, though I'm sure the studio was hoping for a bit more over the romantic holiday period. That being said, the film does have the female demographic pretty much sealed up, and even if it doesn't have much legs, it should be enough to top its budget by the time it exits theaters. Add in foreign grosses, and this should come out in the black when everything has run its course.


The clear loser of the weekend has to belong to the long-gestating sequel, Zoolander 2. After being thoroughly lambasted by critics, audiences responded in kind, awarding the film just a "C+" Cinemascore. Its $15.6 million opening is essentially the same at the $15.5 million opening the original Zoolander brought in way back in 2001. Zoolander went on to a $45 million total - we'll see if the sequel can even match that total - a lot will be riding on its second weekend and if it can match or better the 38.7% drop f the first film. I never was a fan of the movie of the characters, so I can't say I'm surprised by the results. At a reported $50 million production cost, Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson better hope the international audience is more responsive in order to simply break even.


Even though Kung Fu Panda 3 landed higher on the list, I think the big winner among the holdover films clearly belong to The Revenant. The film lost over 750 screens but only dropped a mere .6% compared to last weekend. With another $6.9 million in the bank, The Revenant is looking to top $160 million on Monday. With the Oscars creeping ever closer, I think there's a good chance the film could still top $200 million - with $175 million pretty much guaranteed. Considering how much hardship went in to the making of this film, it's the least we can give back, right?

Outside the top five: For the first time since opening in December, Star Wars: The Force Awakens dropped out of the top five. Losing 11.2% it wound up in sixth place with $6.1 million and new $915 million total.

In limited release, Michal Moore's latest documentary Where to Invade Next opened to $1.03 million in 308 theaters. Though a return to form for the polarizing director, it could only serve up a so-so $3,353-per-theater average.

Next week Deadpool looks to continue its winning streak as it faces the Jesse Owens biopic Race, the horror film The Witch and the should-have-been-released closer to Easter Christ resurrection drama, Risen.


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