Fox reports this morning that Deadpool is utterly crushing records for an R-rated film -- and then some. The Ryan Reynolds vehicle exploded with an estimated $47.5 million opening day on Friday, including $12.7 million from Thursday night shows. That handily surpasses The Matrix Reloaded's previous record opening day for an R-rated film ($37.5 million, or $42.5 million counting its Wednesday early shows in May 2003), as well as previous graphic novel adaptation champ 300 ($28.1 million opening day in March 2007).
Among other records Deadpool has or will be chasing down, it topped last year's Fifty Shades of Grey ($30.3 million) for the best all-time February opening day and looks to steal that film's $85.2 million record four-day President's Day weekend when all is said and done. It should also have little trouble taking down Matrix Reloaded's R-rated weekend record of $91.8 million (which American Sniper's $89.3 million, in addition to Grey, came close to last year).
Not unlike Disney/Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, Fox's phenomenal (and consistently viral) Deadpool ad campaign over the last few months has turned a largely unknown character (outside of fans) into an instant mega success. Despite no serious built-in franchise event-level appeal, plus its R rating, the film's first day stands as the 24th highest in history. It even surpassed Guardians itself ($37.9 million opening day), and every Marvel movie -- from any studio -- not named Avengers, Spider-Man, or Iron Man. Those franchises (five films between them) plus the final two Dark Knight films stand as the only "comic book" adaptations to claim higher opening days than Deadpool. In other words, and in a fantastic moment of irony, it topped the openings days of every X-Men film (The Last Stand's $45.1 million being the highest).
Adding to all of this is the fact that word of mouth is stellar. Some natural drop-off will occur due to the immense upfront fan demand, but with very impressive 96 percent Flixster and 84 percent Rotten Tomatoes scores as of this morning, the pic could play very well beyond this Valentine's/President's Day weekend.
The calendar makes projections trickier than usual at this point, particularly because Valentine's Day date crowds will sway the market on Sunday. This is the kind of film that could take a hit from that, but it's also showing signs of crossing over into being a date night movie itself. We'll have further analysis on Deadpool's debut and numerous records in the days ahead as it gets a chance to play out. For now, BoxOffice projects a colossal and record-smashing $114 million three-day opening weekend and $127 million for the four-day holiday frame.
MGM/New Line's How to Be Single bowed with $5.25 million yesterday, surprisingly coming in second place ahead of Zoolander 2. That's a very healthy start for the fairly low-profile rom-com as it aims to benefit from date night crowds this weekend. BoxOffice projects a $20.3 million three-day opening and $22.8 million for the extended frame into Monday.
Speaking of Zoolander 2, the comedy follow-up started with an estimated $4.2 million. The original film's fans had been demanding a sequel for the past decade, but it clearly is being overshadowed by Deadpool buzz. Reviews (22 percent) and word of mouth (38 percent) appear to be heading in the wrong direction, unfortunately, which leads to our current three-day and four-day projections of $13.6 million and $15.5 million, respectively.
Kung Fu Panda 3 tacked on another $3.88 million on Friday for a new tally of $78.1 million. Look for an $18.2 million three-day weekend and $24 million over the four-day.
Meanwhile, The Revenant and Star Wars: The Force Awakens continued to hold their own despite a wave of new competition. The former posted $1.3 million yesterday for a new total of $153.6 million stateside, while the all-time domestic record champ added $1.2 million for a new haul of $909.85 million. Our weekend projections for those and the remainder of the top ten can be found below (ranked by four-day estimates). We'll update with weekend estimates from the studios on Sunday morning.
Rank / Title / 3-Day Estimate / 4-Day Estimate
1. Deadpool ($114 million 3-day / $127 million 4-day)
2. Kung Fu Panda 3 ($18.2 million / $24.0 million)
3. How to Be Single ($20.3 million / $22.8 million)
4. Zoolander 2 ($13.6 million / $15.5 million)
5. Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($6.2 million / $7.6 million)
6. The Revenant ($6.5 million / $7.5 million)
7. Hail, Caesar! ($6.45 million / $7.3 million)
8. The Choice ($5.1 million / $6.0 million)
9. Ride Along 2 ($3.9 million / $4.5 million)
10. The Boy ($3.2 million / $3.7 million)
11. The Finest Hours ($2.8 million / $3.5 million)
12. The 5th Wave ($2.5 million / $3.0 million)
13. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies ($2.2 million / $2.6 million)
14. Dirty Grandpa ($2.0 million / $2.3 million)
15. 13 Hours ($1.6 million / $1.9 million)