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Deadpool hits record-breaking $135 million in US Valentine's debut


Story by Jack Foley

MARVEL’S R-rated Deadpool movie has massively surpassed expectation by taking a whopping $135 million over the three-day Valentine’s Day/Presidents Day weekend in the US.

For the four day weekend in total, the film is now looking at a grand total of $150 million, a Presidents Day best that beats the $93 million grossed a year ago by S&M sensation Fifty Shades of Grey.

And that was just the first of the records it has broken. The Ryan Reynolds vehicle also now can lay claim to the biggest R-rated opening of all time, the biggest opening for the month of February and the top opening in history for Twentieth Century Fox.

It’s also the biggest debut for a first-time feature director – Tim Miller.

What makes the figure even more incredible is that it took Reynolds more than a decade to convince Fox to make the film with its harder rating. The character has long been a favourite for the actor, who first played him in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but owing to the lukewarm critical reaction to that film, plans for further spin-offs involving X-Men characters were shelved.

Fox finally said yes after test footage was leaked online a couple of years ago but kept the net budget at a relatively modest $58 million. Going into the weekend, tracking had put the film earning somewhere between $65 million to $75 million.

But the actual figure puts Deadpool‘s three day number as the No. 7 comic book opening of all time behind the two Avengers movies, Iron Man 3, the final two Dark Knight films and Spider-Man 3, not accounting for inflation.

The previous record holder for biggest R-rated opening previously belonged to The Matrix Reloaded ($91.8 million), which was set way back in 2003.

Deadpool is also off to an impressive start overseas, where it could earn north of $80 million for the weekend. It has already been a massive success in the UK, where it opened on Wednesday.

However, the success of Deadpool made life a little difficult for two more new releases in the US.

Zoolander No.2 and How To Be Single both struggled.

The latter, an R-rated romantic comedy starring Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson, Alison Brie and Leslie Mann, came in third with a three-day gross of $18.8 million, while Zoolander 2, which reunites Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Will Ferrell, took in $15.7 million, a disappointing start considering the studio had hoped for a four-day gross of $25 million or above. On current form, the film is expected to hit $18 million.

While those two films landed third and fourth, family animated offering Kung Fu Panda 3 took second spot in its third weekend with $19.7 million for the three-day weekend. If the film goes on to earn $26 million for the four days, then its US total will sit at $100.3 million.

Rounding out the top five, meanwhile, was survival thriller The Revenant, which rounded took in $6.9 million for the three days for an estimated four-day holiday tally of $8.1 million. If those figures are confirmed, then the film’s US total will sit at $160.4 million.

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