Deadpool Roughs Up the $140 million Gods of Egypt
By John Hamann
February 28, 2016
What happens when you throw a $140 million sword and sandal epic at Deadpool? An epic beatdown, combined with numerous wisecracks from our three-peating, R-rated hero.
Deadpool, now in its third weekend of utter dominance, faced off against three newcomers this weekend, but none could hold a candle to the merc with a mouth. Openers this weekend include the aforementioned Gods of Egypt, the $140 million wannabe franchise starter from Lionsgate, Eddie the Eagle, an odd little film about a ski jumper from England who became a celebrity for his suckiness, and Triple 9, a crime thriller from John Hillcoat (The Road, Lawless), that stars Casey Affleck and Norman Reedus amongst many, many others. Eddie the Eagle and Triple 9 are the small, February-filler type of releases (3 Days to Kill and The Lazarus Effect are good examples); however, Gods of Egypt was looking to plant a flag for a franchise - and instead ran into a brutal funny man wearing a red and black outfit.
Our number one film for the third consecutive weekend is Deadpool, the $132 million starter that followed that up last weekend with a still strong $56.5 million. After only two weekends, the $58 million production had already earned a half billion worldwide, and this weekend, the studio was looking for an international gross that is 10 times that production budget (theatrical profitability usually hits at three times the budget worldwide). On its third Friday, Deadpool earned another $9 million, and was able to turn that Friday into a weekend take of $31.5 million. That’s off 44% compared to last weekend, but really it’s all gravy right now for Deadpool, as the domestic total has now reached an amazing $285.6 million on the domestic side.
Deadpool continues its rise against the biggest R-rated films of all time. The biggest ever is The Passion of the Christ, which took in $370 million domestically. Second is American Sniper, which dominated January 2015 and found $350 million at the domestic box office. Deadpool now sits in third place, as it got by The Hangover at $277 million this weekend, as well as The Matrix Reloaded, which earned $281 million. Can Deadpool catch The Passion of the Christ to become the number one R-rated earner? It remains a long shot, but it does appear that Deadpool does have a chance at $350 million domestic. Still, March will bring some much stiffer competition (Deadpool is over by March 25th, when Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice opens). Overseas, Deadpool has now pulled in $266.5 million for a worldwide gross of $552.1 million, and should join the top 100 worldwide releases ever in weekend four.
In a distant second - and earning less than half of what Deadpool did in its third weekend - is the $140 million Gods of Egypt, with a budget two and a half times that of the Fox/Marvel title. Lionsgate is desperately trying to manufacture a franchise replacement for The Hunger Games, and thought they had found it in the effect-laden Gods of Egypt from Dark City director Alex Proyas. Lionsgate did not find what they were looking for. Gods got started with a Thursday preview that provided only $800,000 in sales, which means it was dead before it even got to a full day of business. The combined Thursday/Friday came in at an awful $4.8 million, an indication that it wasn’t going to even touch $15 million on its first weekend – especially against the Oscars. In the end, Gods of Egypt earned a disappointing weekend total of $14 million from 3,117 venues. It had a sad venue average of $4,491, and is doomed because of its budget.