Deadpool's Second Frame Matches First Weekend Expectations
By John Hamann
February 21, 2016
It's a good thing Deadpool blew up the box office last weekend. Without our hero, the box office would be a fiasco this frame.
For the last three years, the post-President's/Valentine weekend has not been strong. Over those years, holdovers have ruled each weekend. In 2013, Identity Thief spent its third weekend in release at the top of the box office, as The Rock's Snitch opened to only $13.2 million. In 2014, The LEGO Movie spent its third weekend on top as well, with Costner's 3 Days To Kill as the top opener with $13.2 million. In 2015, 50 Shades of Grey repeated, and Costner again had the top opener with McFarland USA, which earned $11 million. This year is no different. The top new release can barely get to double digits, as Deadpool dominates the box office for the second consecutive weekend.
Following Deadpool into the box office fray this weekend are three of these smaller releases that are similar to what we've seen over the last few years. These openers use smaller budgets (and smaller first weekends) to survive. McFarland USA cost $17 million to make and earned $44 million in North America. While McFarland was no financial windfall, the production cost was recovered, and it will likely earn the rest of its money back through home video. Another low budget 2015 release was The DUFF, which cost $8.5 million and earned $34 million stateside and another $10 million overseas, likely making a theatrical profit. Trying to do the same this weekend are Risen, a $20 million faith-based film which is a little early for Easter, Race, the Jesse Owens biopic where Focus picked up domestic rights for $5 million, and The Witch, the gothic horror flick distributed by A24, who paid only $1 million for domestic rights. While none were made to open at number one, each has a strong chance to make money for the distributor. Let's see how they did.
Our number one film of the weekend was never in doubt, as Deadpool easily bested all-comers in its second weekend. After a sizzling $132.4 million over three days and $152.2 million over four days last weekend, Deadpool was bound to come plummeting back to earth. On Friday, Deadpool earned $16.2 million, which was off a serious 66%; however, when compared with last weekend and removing Thursday preview numbers, that drop is more like 54%. Remember that last weekend was ridiculous with Valentine's Day landing in the sweet spot on Sunday, powering three huge days of box office. That's important to remember when digesting the results this weekend. Deadpool managed $55 million this weekend and dropped an expected 59%.
This frame's result was what some folks were expecting Deadpool to open to last weekend. Instead, Deadpool's second weekend gross is equal to one of the top seven opening weekends in the month of February. After 10 days of release, Deadpool's domestic gross has neared X-Men: Days of Future Past, which earned $233.9 million stateside, and it will be in the top 100 domestic earners of all-time by Tuesday night. For an R-rated film, Deadpool is already the sixth biggest domestic grosser ever and will be in top five by the end of next weekend. Does the Ryan Reynolds flick earn the $370 million that Passion of the Christ, the top R-rated earner ever, pulled in? I would say no at this point, but that could change on a weekend-to-weekend basis. For now, Deadpool has earned $235.4 million at the domestic box office and has a worldwide tally of nearly $500 million, all against a $58 million budget.