'Deadpool' Destroys Expectations and Records with $135.0M Launch; 'Kung Fu Panda 3' Takes Second with $19.7M; 'How to Be Single' Solid in Third with $18.8M; 'Zoolander 2' Lackluster in Fourth with $15.7MFebruary 14, 2016 08:54 AM

by Daniel Garris

Fox's Deadpool exploded this weekend with an estimated three-day debut of $135.0 million. The Ryan Reynolds led antihero film not only destroyed expectations, but destroyed the previous all-time R-rated and February opening weekend records as well. Deadpool opened 47 percent ahead of the $91.77 million 2003 debut of previous R-rated record holder The Matrix Reloaded and 58.5 percent ahead of the $85.17 million start of previous February (and Presidents Day weekend) record holder Fifty Shades of Grey. Deadpool also delivered the largest debut ever for a film in the X-Men universe, as it opened 31 percent ahead of the $102.75 million three-day start of 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand. Deadpool opened 49 percent ahead of the $90.82 million three-day debut of last year's X-Men: Days of Future Past, which is especially impressive given that Deadpool didn't have the added advantage of higher priced 3D admissions and opened in 438 fewer locations.

Without adjusting for ticket price inflation, Deadpool registered the 17th largest opening weekend of all-time. The film also claimed the fifth largest debut ever for a Marvel adaptation (behind only 2012's Marvel's The Avengers, last year's Avengers: Age of Ultron, 2013's Iron Man 3 and 2007's Spider-Man 3) and the seventh largest debut ever for a comic book adaption of any kind (behind only 2012's The Dark Knight Rises and 2008's The Dark Knight in addition to the four mentioned Marvel films).

Thanks to a marketing campaign that went over amazingly well with moviegoers, Deadpool had generated strong online activity for months. But the film ultimately performed far stronger than even its online strength had suggested. In addition to the film's marketing striking the perfect chord with comic book fans and general audiences alike, Deadpool was also helped by the popularity of the character among comic book fans, good critical reviews and by Valentine's Day falling on Sunday.

Deadpool opened with $47.46 million on Friday (which included an estimated $12.7 million from Thursday night shows), dipped just 10 percent on Saturday to take in $42.55 million and is estimated to increase 6 percent on Valentine's Day Sunday to gross $45.00 million. That places the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.85 to 1, which is very encouraging for a high-profile comic book adaptation (even with Valentine's Day in mind). Deadpool received a strong A rating on CinemaScore and currently boasts a terrific 96 percent audience score on Flixster. With word of mouth this strong, it's very possible that Deadpool will have stronger than expected holding power as well, on top of its already explosive debut. Fox's current four-day estimate for Deadpool is $150.0 million.

Fellow Fox release Kung Fu Panda 3 placed in a distant second with an estimated three-day take of $19.65 million. The 3D computer animated sequel from Fox and DreamWorks Animation was down just 14 percent from last weekend. Kung Fu Panda 3 was helped out this weekend by no new family films entering the marketplace, by the holiday frame and by Super Bowl 50 having deflated last weekend's grosses in general. Kung Fu Panda 3 has grossed $92.46 million in 17 days. That places the film 21 percent behind the $116.94 million 17-day gross of last year's Hotel Transylvania 2 (which fell 38.5 percent in its third weekend to claim $20.42 million). Kung Fu Panda 3 is likely to hold up well throughout the rest of February, thanks in part to no new family films entering the marketplace until the arrival of Disney's Zootopia on March 4. Fox's current four-day estimate for Kung Fu Panda 3 is $26.0 million.

Warner's How to Be Single debuted in third place with an estimated three-day start of $18.75 million. The romantic comedy from New Line and MGM featuring Dakota Johnson opened towards the higher end of pre-release expectations. How to Be Single benefited from Valentine's Day falling on Sunday and from ultimately representing a better alternative choice to Deadpool than Zoolander 2 did. How to Be Single performed 24 percent stronger than the $15.07 million three-day start of 2009's Confessions of a Shopaholic.

How to Be Single opened with $5.25 million on Friday (which included an estimated $700,000 from Thursday night shows), increased 14 percent on Saturday to gross $6.00 million and is estimated to increase 25 percent on Sunday to take in $7.50 million. The film received a respectable B rating on CinemaScore and currently has a 66 percent audience score on Flixster. BoxOffice currently estimates that How to Be Single will take in $21.0 million over the four-day frame.

Meanwhile, Paramount's Zoolander 2 had to settle for a fourth place estimated three-day launch of $15.65 million. The PG-13 rated comedy sequel starring Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson opened well below pre-release expectations. While Zoolander 2 had generated strong online activity levels before its release, that online activity and the film's cult following failed to transfer over to the box office this weekend. Obviously, the break-out performance of Deadpool also significantly limited the potential of Zoolander 2 this weekend. Without taking into account 15 years of ticket price inflation, the three-day start for Zoolander 2 was very similar to the $15.53 million debut of 2001's Zoolander.

Zoolander 2 opened with $4.20 million on Friday (which included an estimated $750,000 from Thursday night shows), increased 11 percent on Saturday to gross $4.67 million and is estimated to increase 45 percent on Sunday to gross $6.78 million. The film received a soft C+ rating on CinemaScore and currently has an audience score of just 37 percent on Flixster. Neither is a good sign for Zoolander 2 going forward. Paramount's current four-day estimate for Zoolander 2 is $18.0 million.

Beyond the top four, other estimated three-day grosses this weekend included $6.90 million for Fox's The Revenant, $6.59 million for Universal's Hail, Caesar!, $6.19 million for Disney's Star Wars: The Force Awakens and $5.25 million for Lionsgate's The Choice. The Revenant (down 1 percent), The Force Awakens (down 11 percent) and The Choice (down 13 percent) all held up extremely well this weekend, while Hail, Caesar! was down a troubling 42 percent. Respective current total grosses stand at $914.84 million for The Force Awakens, at $159.16 million for The Revenant, at $21.35 million for Hail, Caesar! and at $13.26 million for The Choice.

4-Day Weekend Estimates

1. Deadpool -- $150.00M*
2. Kung Fu Panda 3 -- $26.00M*
3. How to Be Single -- $21.00M#
4. Zoolander 2 -- $18.00M*
5. The Revenant -- $8.10M*
6. The Force Awakens -- $7.55M*
7. Hail, Caesar! -- $7.51M*
8. The Choice -- $6.00M*
9. Ride Along 2 -- $4.76M*
10. The Finest Hours -- $3.28M*
11. The Boy -- $3.26M*
12. The 5th Wave -- $3.15M#
13. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies -- $2.85M#
14. Dirty Grandpa -- $2.50M*
15. 13 Hours -- $1.80M*
16. The Big Short -- $1.57M*

* Indicates an official studio estimate.
# Indicates a estimate.

Weekend domestic gross

YearWeekendTop 10 GrossChg. LY%Total GrossChg. LY% Top movie of the week
19838 (Feb 25 - Feb 27) - 1983$21,974,02814%$24,039,59713%Tootsie
19848 (Feb 24 - Feb 26) - 1984$24,319,99611%$26,080,6928%Footloose (1984)
19858 (Feb 22 - Feb 24) - 1985$25,830,9276%$27,714,4606%Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
19868 (Feb 21 - Feb 23) - 1986$29,301,38413%$33,920,04822%Down and Out in Beverly Hills
19878 (Feb 20 - Feb 22) - 1987$32,284,62810%$34,264,1871%Platoon
19888 (Feb 19 - Feb 21) - 1988$33,183,1433%$38,943,79814%Good Morning, Vietnam
19898 (Feb 24 - Feb 26) - 1989$31,263,007-6%$37,042,939-5%The 'Burbs
19908 (Feb 23 - Feb 25) - 1990$28,747,612-8%$33,956,177-8%Driving Miss Daisy
19918 (Feb 22 - Feb 24) - 1991$48,394,17268%$53,095,30056%The Silence of the Lambs
19928 (Feb 21 - Feb 23) - 1992$44,658,467-8%$53,985,1082%Wayne's World
19938 (Feb 19 - Feb 21) - 1993$46,957,9855%$56,310,0804%Groundhog Day
19948 (Feb 25 - Feb 27) - 1994$42,176,674-10%$53,605,363-5%Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
19958 (Feb 24 - Feb 26) - 1995$36,487,446-13%$44,336,751-17%The Brady Bunch Movie
19968 (Feb 23 - Feb 25) - 1996$52,426,57244%$62,948,75242%Rumble in the Bronx
19978 (Feb 21 - Feb 23) - 1997$73,901,59341%$87,614,64539%The Empire Strikes Back: Special Edition
19988 (Feb 20 - Feb 22) - 1998$69,034,036-7%$76,098,440-13%Titanic
19998 (Feb 19 - Feb 21) - 1999$59,536,378-14%$80,731,9696%Payback (1999)
20008 (Feb 25 - Feb 27) - 2000$72,222,47421%$95,183,69118%Wonder Boys
20018 (Feb 23 - Feb 25) - 2001$66,485,111-8%$81,365,055-15%Hannibal
20028 (Feb 22 - Feb 24) - 2002$75,334,42013%$89,986,11911%Queen of the Damned
20038 (Feb 21 - Feb 23) - 2003$89,684,30119%$113,392,18426%Daredevil
20048 (Feb 20 - Feb 22) - 2004$69,313,260-23%$94,345,267-17%50 First Dates
20058 (Feb 25 - Feb 27) - 2005$98,762,90142%$122,379,25230%Diary of a Mad Black Woman
20068 (Feb 24 - Feb 26) - 2006$95,381,452-3%$119,045,537-3%Tyler Perry's Madea's Family Reunion
20078 (Feb 23 - Feb 25) - 2007$96,098,8031%$116,733,666-2%Ghost Rider
20088 (Feb 22 - Feb 24) - 2008$84,937,704-12%$106,761,021-9%Vantage Point
20098 (Feb 20 - Feb 22) - 2009$112,140,41532%$142,465,69033%Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail
20108 (Feb 19 - Feb 21) - 2010$118,472,6806%$133,654,819-6%Shutter Island
20118 (Feb 25 - Feb 27) - 2011$92,540,158-22%$109,868,362-18%Hall Pass
20128 (Feb 24 - Feb 26) - 2012$107,371,84716%$132,582,24221%Act of Valor
20138 (Feb 22 - Feb 24) - 2013$84,217,867-22%$103,513,213-22%Identity Thief
20148 (Feb 21 - Feb 23) - 2014$94,308,70512%$111,652,8408%The LEGO Movie
20158 (Feb 20 - Feb 22) - 2015$103,802,09110%$115,332,5903%Fifty Shades of Grey