‘Deadpool’ sets record for R-rated opening

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‘Deadpool’ sets record for R-rated opening

The R-rated “Deadpool” has taken the box office by storm, annihilating records with an eye-popping $135 million from its first three days in theaters, according to comScore estimates Sunday.

The Fox film, which stars Ryan Reynolds as the foul-mouthed superhero, easily trounced last year’s record-setting $85.2 million February debut of the erotic drama “Fifty Shades of Grey.” It also became the biggest R-rated opening ever, surpassing “The Matrix Reloaded,” which opened to $91.8 million in May of 2003.

Analysts are predicting that the Tim Miller-directed film, which cost a mere $58 million to produce, could go on to make $150 million by the end of the holiday weekend. As recently as Thursday, “Deadpool” was expected to pull in only $80 million across the three days, but the Marvel comic, often a best-seller, proved its popular appeal and then some - and it didn’t have to compromise with a PG-13 rating either.

“This movie is the very definition of an expectation-buster. Nobody saw this coming.” said Paul Dergarabedian, comScore’s senior media analyst. “It doesn’t feel like a cookie-cutter superhero movie. It feels like something unique. You’ve got to sometimes take risks and go against conventional wisdom to come out a winner.”

IMAX screens accounted for an estimated $16.8 million of “Deadpool’s” total. The film, notably, was not released in 3D.

The debut is also a bit of a superhero redemption story for Reynolds whose costly “Green Lantern” adaptation disappointed audiences and at the box office in 2011.

Coming in a distant second was last weekend’s No. 1 film “Kung Fu Panda 3” with $19.7 million, which fell only 7 percent. The DreamWorks Animation film has earned $93.9 million in just three weeks in theaters.

In third place, the R-rated Dakota Johnson and Rebel Wilson rom-com “How to Be Single” didn’t make any big waves with its $18.8 million out of the gates. The Warner Bros. film cost $38 million to produce and provided some counter programming to the hyper violent “Deadpool.”

Dergarabedian thinks “How to Be Single” could see a healthy uptick from the Valentine’s Day crowd Sunday.

But overall, the box office is healthy, up an estimated 3.2 percent from last year thanks to the snarky, fourth-wall-busting “Deadpool” and its historic debut.

“These are summer numbers,” Dergarabedian said. “It’s summer in February.” AP

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