“Deadpool” Repeats as Box Office Champion


February 19 - 21

(estimates from BoxOfficeMojo.com)


Deadpool ($55.0)
Kung Fu Panda 3 ($12.5)
Risen ($11.8)
The Witch ($8.6)
How to Be Single ($8.2)

Deadpool did it again. In its second weekend, the foul-mouthed comic book movie earned an estimated $55 million for first place. That’s what most people expected it to do in its first weekend. Then of course, it defied all expectations. The R-rated hit has now made $235.3 million in its first 10 days, which is already more than any X-Men movies have ever made. By next week, it will have vaulted into the Top 10 Marvel movies, leaping past The Amazing Spider-Man and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Kung Fu Panda 3 stuck it out in second place. It’s held better than any of its predecessors while still making far less money. That speaks to audience interest and the fact that it opened in January and not in the middle of summer.

Of the newcomers, the faith-based historical drama Risen, about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, did the best. It made an estimated $11.8 million. That’s well below 2014’s Son of God, which opened to $25 million. It should have some legs throughout the Lenten season leading up to Easter on March 27. And then there’s The Witch, the independent supernatural thriller that received rave reviews since premiering at Sundance in 2015. It received a big push opening on more than 2,000 screens, the widest opening ever for indie distributor A24. It’s already their fourth-biggest movie ever and should become their all-time champ, surpassing the $25.4 million Ex Machina made last year.

Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: You can’t keep a good movie down. Sony released Stephen Chow’s The Mermaid, currently taking the Chinese box office by storm, as an afterthought in the U.S. Still, it averaged $29,000 on 35 screens. That’s the best limited per-screen average of 2016 so far.
  • Race couldn’t even finish in the top 5. The Jesse Owens biopic only managed a weak $7.2 million.
  • Embrace of the Serpent, Colombia’s nominee for Best Foreign Language Film at this year’s Oscars, opened well in limited release. The black-and-white Spanish language flick averaged $16,772 on three screens.

Next week:

Three more contenders will fail to unseat Deadpool. Eddie the Eagle is the inspirational sports movie. Triple 9 is the hard-edged dirty cop thriller. And Gods of Egypt is the CGI eyesore that features no actors who look like they’re from Egypt. I’d say the latter has the best chance, but will still only come up with around $20 million. That won’t be enough to stop the Merc with a Mouth.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.

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