Skip to main content

Deadpool destroys Presidents' Day weekend box-office record with $152.2 million

Deadpool destroys Presidents' Day weekend box-office record with $152.2 million


17-plus rating didn't stop the raunchy superhero

Share this story

Deadpool isn't your typical superhero movie. The red spandex-clad hero played by Ryan Reynolds isn't just irreverent and self-aware — he's downright raunchy. That solidly earned the film an R rating (17+ without an adult), but that hasn't stopped the film from being a box office success. Over its first weekend in the US, Deadpool hauled in over $132.7 million. That makes it the best opening weekend ever for an R-rated film — by far.

That title was previously held by The Matrix Reloaded (2003), which earned $91.7 million. The top five opening weekends for R-rated films is rounded out by American Sniper (2015), The Hangover Part II (2011), and Fifty Shades of Grey (2015), which all earned between $85 to $90 million on their first weekends.

Deadpool also worked the long Presidents' Day weekend to its advantage, with the film raking in $152.2 million over the four-day stretch, easily trumping the then-record $93 million that Fifty Shades earned last year during the same weekend. And just to keep things interesting, the movie also just so happens to be the biggest box-office debut for a first-time feature director (in this case that would be Tim Miller, who'd previously worked in visual effects and directed short films to hone his craft).

Demolished long-held record by The Matrix Reloaded

All major superhero movies over the past few years have been rated PG-13 — a rating that's historically been seen as key to maximizing box office potential. For comparison, notable R-rated films of the same genre, 300 (2007) and Watchmen (2009), earned $70.9 and $55.2 million respectively. As for all other superhero movies, the opening marks the seventh largest of all time, right behind Spiderman 3, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

If you haven't checked it out yet, you can read our review here, and for more, be sure to read our interview with the film's editor. If you're looking for more Deadpool, you'll be glad to hear that a sequel has already been greenlit.

Correction: The R rating from the MPAA limits admission to people 17 or older without an adult, not 18 as originally stated.

Update, February 16th, 5:00PM ET: Updated with holiday record and finalized weekend box-office numbers.

Verge Video: How filmmakers manipulate our emotions using color