Inside the Numbers of Deadpool’s Historic President’s Day Weekend
Deadpool’s massive $150 million four-day haul over President’s Day weekend is a historic achievement, besting the next biggest opening, 2015’s Fifty Shades of Grey, by $57 million. Box Office Mojo’s reports that the film has now grossed $264.8 million worldwide as of this past Sunday. It’s playing in 3,588 theaters, at a $42,159 per theater average for the four-day weekend. Here are some of the numbers, per Box Office Mojo:
- #1 opening weekend ($132.75M) ever in Fox history (get the chart)
- #1 opening weekend ever for an R-rated film (get the chart)
- #1 February opening weekend (get the chart)
- #1 Winter opening weekend (get the chart)
- #2 opening weekend ever for an original Marvel property title
- #5 opening weekend ever for a Marvel property title (get the chart)
Deadpool also gave a new February record to the IMAX format, taking in $27.4 million globally, and a record-breaking $18.4 million domestically, playing on 374 IMAX screens. The film set a record for both R-rated titles and February releases. It looks like director Tim Miller’s assertion that the film would be best enjoyed on an IMAX screen made an impact.
It was only last week that Fox was trying to play down Deadpool’s potential haul, but now that the numbers are in, Marvel’s potty-mouthed superhero is the official king of February. We’ve written about how the titular hero fits in, and acts out, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and now it’s probably time to look at how the marketing campaign managed to stoke an immense amount of interest in a superhero that all but the most ardent of fan boys had forgotten ever existed. As Box Office Mojo tallied, some 62 percent of Deadpool ticket buyers were males, with 47 percent being under the age of 25. The film’s highly irreverent marketing campaign began almost a year ago, and as The Hollywood Reporter writes, Fox worked closely with Ryan Reynolds, the film’s star, director Tim Miller, and writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick to tailor the campaign to the style of the R-rated, off-brand Marvel superhero himself.
“We treated this as a combination of a superhero movie and an R-rated comedy. And Ryan was the real genius behind this,” Fox domestic marketing chief Marc Weinstock told THR.
From the first photo of Reynolds in his Deadpool costume, lying on a bearskin rug (mimicking something no fan boy would be aware of—Burt Reynolds famous Playgirl centerfold), the image was approved by the fans nonetheless, proving Deadpool’s red and black costume worked. Then came the first trailer at Comic-Con, which won raves, followed by Fox and the Deadpool filmmakers convincing Conan O’Brien and TBS to change his show’s rating to TV-MA so they could debut the first red-band trailer. It has become the most viewed red-band trailer in history, with 114 million views.
The variety show mentality of the Deadpool marketing continued (remember “12 Days of Deadpool” over Christmas?) right up to their Super Bowl spot, and then once the review embargo lifted, showing that critics were positive about the film (it’s currently at an 84 percent fresh rating on RottenTomatoes), the stage was set for a big opening weekend.
Yet nobody saw it becoming this big. Nobody, that is, save for Deadpool himself.