By Chris Campo
In the film, Deadpool may face thugs, gangsters, mutants and evil master minds, but in true Deadpool fashion, his greatest threat may soon be beyond the the fourth wall, the box office. As we get closer and closer to the release of Fox's gamble known as 'Deadpool', there's a lot of talk about how much cash the Merc With the Mouth will mop up. Many box office experts have predicted a relatively large $55-60 Million take for opening weekend in the U.S. I'm going to join the conversation and out my two cents in on the possible success of the movie.
Please do keep in mind, the top two leading markets for film is America and China. China has officially banned 'Deadpool' from showing in their country due to graphic content, so this could possibly affect the overall box office. However, for many of these films I will discuss, I couldn't find any numbers from China. I dont think it will affect this article, as I will mainly be focusing the U.S. box office and the overall worldwide box office numbers. All my information is taken from BoxOfficeMojo.com
So to start off, 'Deadpool', here in the U.S. is a rated R film, the equivalent to a MA15+ or possibly a R18+ in Australia. Here in the states, an R rating is typically and wrongfully accused to be a poison to box office, with many movies lowering their rating to a much tamer PG-13 (M) to appeal to younger audiences and ultimately make more money. To find out if the R rating will affect the box office, I figured I would take a look at similar films and their box office take.
The 'Kick-Ass' films are also two R-rated, foul mouthed, hyper violent comic book films. The first Kick-Ass' was a relatively smaller movie, but still opened at Number 1 at the American box office with $19.8 million. This isn't a big number and would probably be a disappointment for a film bigger than what 'Kick-Ass' was. The total take of 'Kick-Ass' worldwide was respectable $96.1 million, but for a big comic property like 'Deadpool', that simply wouldn't cut it. 'Kick-Ass 2', which could've been huge due to the critical praise of the first film, is ultimately considered a box office flop, making a wimpy $13.3 million opening weekend and a worldwide total of $60.7 million. 'Kick-Ass', like 'Deadpool', is a property that appeals to the younger crowd. These numbers would seriously mean bad news if 'Deadpool' follows these footsteps. The 'Kick-Ass' films did, however, also open against stiff super-hero competition, both realesing on the front and tail ends of the summer movie season, respectively.
In what may sound a little more hopeful, two movies, '300' and 'Watchmen', both came out around a similar date to 'Deadpool' and both were tagged with a hard R rating. Both Zach Snyder directed films were box office smashes. '300' released March 9th, 2007, made a huge $70.8 million opening weekend debut in the U.S. and an outstanding $456.0 million worldwide taking. 'Watchmen', released on March 6th, 2009 and made $55.2 million opening weekend, and a worldwide take of $182.2 million. While the numbers of '300' are certainly outstanding for an R-rated comic book film, and is what Fox is probably hoping for, I want to look a little closer into 'Watchmen' and its takings, as it's more of a similar movie to 'Deadpool'. The numbers of 'Watchmen' are pretty much exactly the numbers the experts are predicting for 'Deadpool'. 'Deadpool' is a much more known property to the public eye than 'Watchmen' is, and has a much more famous leading man in Ryan Reynolds. These numbers for both 'Watchmen' and especially '300' could mean very good news for 'Deadpool'.
As I have hinted at, the date can be a big factor in box office numbers. 'Deadpool' releases on Valentine's Day/Presidents day weekend in the U.S. I want to look at the box office of this same exact weekend in 2015. Fair warning, I'm about to mention 'Fifty Shades of Grey'. Not only did 'Fifty Shades of Grey' come out valentine's weekend, but so did 'Kingsman: The Secret Service'. Now, 'Fifty Shades' made a killing ($85m opening weekend, $570m worldwide), mostly due to Valentine's Day and it being a movie about sex, but that's not what I want to focus on. 'Kingsman: The Secret Service' made an okay $36.2 million opening weekend, but overall, made a whopping $414.3 million worldwide. This could mean good news for 'Deadpool' as both films are R-rated action comedy comic book films. Both are also Fox films, explaining the release date of 'Deadpool'. There's a catch, however, as 'Kingsman: The Secret Service' made a huge $74 million in China alone, and as 'Deadpool' is banned in China, this could mean a huge chunk of cash NOT being in the worldwide total.
The main competition for 'Deadpool' is 'Zoolander 2'. With the first Zoolander doing a worldwide total of $60.7 million, I dont personally think 'Zoolander 2' will be a big hurtle to jump over for 'Deadpool'. But there are a few catches, experts predicting somewhere around $20 million for the Ben Stiller comedy. Aslo, suprisingly enough, the trailer for 'Zoolander 2' was huge online, breaking records for comedy trailers, proving people are interested in the film.
My final prediction, based off my research, is an opening weekend of $70-80 million dollars and a total worldwide take of $200-250 million dollars. I do genuinely feel that the success of similar movies around the same time and the popularity of the character, that 'Deadpool' will kill at the box office. I also feel it'll miss out on some cash from China, but I sense that a hit coming, and maybe even a sequel.
Deadpool is in Australian theatres on February 11th and US theatres on February 12th