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'Deadpool2' ends Avengers' box office dominance

May 22,2018
Ryan Reynolds in a scene from “Deadpool 2,” which topped box office charts both in Korea and North America. [AP/YONHAP]
Deadpool and his foul-mouthed crew of misfits and malcontents have taken down the Avengers, both in Korean and North American box offices.

According to the Korean Film Council, 20th Century Fox’s R-rated superhero film “Deadpool 2” won the domestic box office, selling 1.35 million tickets from Friday to Sunday.

It surpassed 2 million in attendance on Monday morning, the sixth day of its theatrical run.

The pace is five days faster than “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” which attracted 6.12 million viewers to become the most-viewed non-Korean R-rated film in the country in 2015.

However, despite topping the box office in North America, “Deadpool 2,” with Ryan Reynolds returning as the title character and co-writing this time, fell somewhat short of the $130 million the studio predicted and the $132.4 million that its predecessor earned two years ago. Analysts and the studio said the difference can be attributed to the first film opening on a holiday weekend, and could easily be made up with Memorial Day coming, despite the looming competition from “Solo: A Star Wars Story.”

“I think with a holiday on our second weekend we’ll catch ‘Deadpool’ if not exceed it,” said Chris Aronson, distribution chief for 20th Century Fox.

The film grossed $176.3 million internationally and opened better overseas than the first, especially finding audiences in Latin America.

The Avengers are hardly hurting.

Disney and Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Infinity War” fell to No. 2 with 304,063 tickets sold after reigning the Korean box office for three weeks. Still, “Infinity War” remains strong despite losing its crown. In less than a month of release, the superhero film has attracted an audience of 10.68 million, becoming the second-highest grossing non-Korean film of all time in Korea, after “Avatar,” which was seen by 13.6 million people in 2009.

Meanwhile in North America, “Avengers: Infinity War” brought in an estimated $29 million in North America for a four-week take of $595 million domestically and $1.2 billion overseas. It’s now the fifth-highest grossing film of all time worldwide.

Director Lee Chang-dong’s “Burning” debuted at No. 3 at the Korean box office with 220,717 tickets sold. This mystery-thriller about the insecurity and anger of young people premiered in competition at the 71st Cannes Film Festival. It earned the Fipresci International Critics’ Prize for best film for its director and the independent Vulcan Award of the Technical Artist for its art director Shin Jeom-hee on Saturday.

Coming in fourth was the newly released animated film “Peter Rabbit,” followed by “Love+Sling,” a comedy starring Yoo Hae-jin.

Coming in third at the North American box office was “Book Club” with a $12.5 million weekend that exceeded expectations.

It was a successful piece of counter-programming for Paramount, which used the modestly budgeted comedy starring Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton and Candice Bergen to find older audiences and women while “Deadpool 2” dwelled overwhelmingly on young men.

“There are definitely audiences out there for whom superhero movies are not their cup of tea,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for comScore.

“Deadpool 2” follows the proudly foul formula of the first, mixing the usual superhero set pieces with gore, gross-out jokes, ’80s power ballads and frequent fourth-wall violations.

“The source material is so vast and rich that I don’t think there’s any question that it just opens the door for more,” Aronson said.

Along with the earnings and acclaim for last year’s R-rated “Logan,” Fox has made itself the early leader in the burgeoning subgenre.

“The R-rating may be restrictive in terms of the audience make-up, but it’s certainly not restrictive in the creative freedom it offers, so when movies like these hit, they can hit big,” Dergarabedian said. “There is a place for the R rating. In the superhero genre it offers endless and really cool possibilities.” AP, YONHAP


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