Updated February 29, 2016: 20th Century Fox's Deadpool remains on top of the North American box office, earning $31.5 million over the weekend according to BoxOffice. That puts the Ryan Reynolds-fronted film at $285.6m domestically, totalling a total global box office of $609m.
Updated February 17, 2016: 20th Century Fox's Deadpool earned $11.5 million on Tuesday, according to Deadline. That continues to trump speculative estimates by industry watchers, and adds to a cumulative total of $163.69m globally for the Ryan Reynolds-fronted film.
Comparing it to 20th Century Fox's other X-Men films, Deadpool's opening weekend was 38% stronger than 2015's X-Men: Days of Future Past -- which is even more impresive considering that film opened in 438 more theaters than Deadpool, and had higher-priced 3-D showings.
Updated February 15, 2016 at 10:06 a.m. EST: While the official box office receipts for the weekend in North America aren't in yet, industry watchers have once again increased their domestic estimates for 20th Century Fox's Deadpool -- from $123m to $135m, according to BoxOffice.
Internationally, the Ryan Reynolds-led film was the #1 movie in every country it was shown with the exception of Poland, earning an estimated $125 million in 61 markets. The film has been restricted from China, but Deadpool is scheduled to open in several additional markets including Italy, Spain, South Korea and the Middle East next weekend.
Overall, Deadpool has nearly doubled the generally-accepted speculative numbers from last week, and currently sits as the second-highest grossing non-sequel comic book film ever, behind 2011's The Avengers according to BoxOfficeMojo. And for director Tim Miller, it's the highest grossing opening weekend for a first-time director ever.
Updated February 13, 2016: With an estimated $12.7m on Thursday and $47.5m on Friday, Deadline now projects a three-day total of $123m for 20th Century Fox's Deadpool. If those predictions are accurate, this would surpass the opening weekends for nearly every Marvel-based film, including Marvel Studios films except Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3, Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron. It would also earn Deadpool the record of largest February opening weekend ever, currently held by 2015's 50 Shades of Grey with $85m.
With Monday being Presidents Day in the United States, Deadline projects an estimated $136m by the close of business on the federal holiday.
Of course Deadpool's projected $123m opening weekend would also give it the highest opening weekend box office of any of the X-Men films, with the next highest belonging to X-Men 3: The Last Stand with an opening weekend take of $102m.
In other shorter words, Deadpool is a game changer. Look for my analysis of what this all means in the coming days.
Updated February 12, 2015: 20th Century Fox's Deadpool earned $12.7m Thursday evening in preview showings, according to Deadline. That breaks a record previously held by 2011's Hangover 2 with $10.4m for highest opening Thursday box office for an R-rated film. The Ryan Reynolds-led film opened in 2,975 theaters, but expands to 3,557 for the weekend.
That $12.7m also puts Deadpool ahead of other recent superhero film contemparies. Guardians of the Galaxy had a Thursday preview box office of $11.2m, while X-Men: Days of Future Past earned $8.1m, and Ant-Man only $6.4m.
The online Hollywood trade currently projects Deadpool to earn between $60-$65m in its opening weekend, however some such as BoxOffice say it could reach $100m by the end of the four-day holiday weekend. For a point of reference, 300 and Watchmen earned $70.9m and $55.2m, respectively, and were both R-rated films based on comic books.
Additionally, online ticket retailers Fandango and MovieTickets.com revealed large advance ticket sales. Deadpool has been Fandango's top seller for the last two weeks, beating the sales of Marvel Studios' Ant-Man during the same timeframe. For its part, MovieTickets.com said that nearly 70% of its ticket sales on Wednesday were for Deadpool.
Original story: 20th Century Fox's Deadpool is a unique proposition in the world of superhero movies with a hard "R" rating and an already rabid cult following. But will its position as a truly "adult" superhero movie help or hinder it at the box office, and will that fanbase be enough to catapult it to success?
R-rated superhero films have often been dicey prospects, with films such as Punisher: War Zone and Kick Ass arguably underperforming, with War Zone grossing only $8 million on its opening weekend, while Kick Ass took in only $19 million on a $30 million prediction. However, Watchmen, another R-rated superhero film, was a commercial success with an opening weekend of $55 million.
Fox, however, has reportedly projected an opening weekend take of $60-$65 million, with some outside estimates placing the weekend as high as $70 million. That figure would be an unqualified success. Last year's PG-13 Ant-Man, having the advantage of existing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, opened to $57m before going on to a $180m gross and earning a sequel.
Last Valentine's Day weekend, 50 Shades of Grey bested Kingsman: The Secret Service, another R-rated comic book film, taking in $85 million to Kingsman's $35 million. But Deadpool's stiffest competition comes from Zoolander 2 and How To Be Single, both of which are tracking much lower than Deadpool, with $22m and $19m respectively.
Another factor to consider is that Monday February 15 is Presidents Day in the United States. A federal holiday such as this, with schools being closed as well, has an effect on traditional Sunday box office performance.
Deadpool's early critical reception has been largely positive - a fact that may aid its box office chances. The film is currently rated 81% "fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes based on 103 reviews, while Metacritic scores Deadpool at 64/100 based on 35 reviews.
In the bigger picture, Deadpool's global box office performance will be hindered by it's hard "R" rating. The film has been banned in China, and India's Censor Board of Film Certification had to make seven cuts to the film before allowing it to be released. India's CBFC did the same for last year's James Bond film, Spectre. It's not all bad news overseas, however, as Deadpool is tracking ahead of even X-Men: Days of Future Past in some countries. Deadline reports that Deadpool has already grossed $12 million through Wednesday in markets such as the United Kingdom, France, and Australia, where the film opened ahead of North America. The report speculates that an $80m international debut is within reach.
Deadpool opens this Friday, February 12.