Notable Openings This Weekend: Deadpool, How To Be Single, Zoolander 2
Happy Valentines Day, indeed. There is sure to be a lot of love at the box office this weekend, holy chocolate cupids. While certain films probably should have moved their release date (*cough* Zoolander 2 *cough*), the overall weekend take should be pretty healthy. You got the standard date movie, a sequel to a cult comedy classic, and of course, the straight up superhero movie. Well, kind of. Yes, Deadpool had risk/reward written all over it, but not only is the risk entirely gone, the reward seems inevitable. When analyzing this weekend’s box office, we have to start with the Merc with a mouth.
When the dust settles, Deadpool may go down as the greatest marketing campaign ever for a motion picture. Who isn’t talking about this movie? While Deadpool has always been a popular comic book character, he was still very niche among mainstream culture. While a complete waste in the 2009 X-Men film, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, nobody really remembers that except comic book fans. There isn’t much history, but Rated-R superhero films don’t particularly clean up. While hyped, Watchmen fared only okay in 2009. Not only is this movie going to over perform, it’s going to lap the field. The posters. The trailers. The meta Ryan Reynolds marketing. When future students take classes in movie marketing, this film will be lessons one, two and three.
The only question now is will it beat the all time Rated-R opening weekend? That’s a tall order, but it has a chance. While the marketing has been stellar, the movie still needed that positive buzz. While the Rotten Tomato score isn’t amazing, the people who love it, really love it (including yours truly). If Deadpool can achieve what we all think it can, it will also change how studios choose their release dates. No longer will they feel confined to only the summer and early winter. There’s money to be made all over the calendar year.
Deadpool isn’t the only major release this weekend. I do not understand for the life of me why Paramount never moved Zoolander 2 off this release date. It’s been clear for a while that Deadpool was going to clean up. And if you want to make a counter programming argument, I don’t see it. Both are comedies! If this came out last week when there was absolutely nothing, Zoolander 2 would have fared MUCH better. While the original is still very popular, this sequel is a little too late, not to mention the reviews are in, and it’s not pretty. Zoolander 2 won’t bomb, but it definitely won’t make the money everyone thought it could when they announced it. They waited too long.
Sandwiched in between Deadpool and Zoolander 2 is your standard Valentine’s date movie. The myth of the date movie on Valentine’s Day isn’t as strong as it once was, but How To Be Single should do fine. It definitely has more of a crass tone than those other movies we typically get this time of year. You know the ones I’m talking about. They have gigantic casts with 900 stories going on, such as New Years Eve or Valentine’s Day. Remember those gems? Ugh.
HOW WILL IT ALL BREAK DOWN…
Deadpool is going to slice everything in its path with ease. While it will fall short of the Rated-R weekend record (2003’s The Matrix Reloaded at just under $92 Million), it’s final take will have Fox execs throwing Wolf of Wall Street level parties. On another note, this will be the last time Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be in the top five. A moment of silence, please.
1. Deadpool — $86 Million
2. Zoolander 2 — $23 Million
3. How To Be Single — $16 Million
4. Kung Fu Panda 3 — $12.5 Million
5. Star Wars: The Force Awakens — $5 Million
Daniel Cohen is the Film Editor for Pop-Break. Aside from reviews, Daniel does a weekly box office predictions column, and also contributes monthly Top Tens and Op-Ed’s on all things film. Daniel is a graduate of Bates College with a degree in English, and also studied Screenwriting at UCLA. He can also be read on www.movieshenanigans.com. His movie crush is Jessica Rabbit. Follow him on Twitter @dcohenwriter.