Weekend Box Office: Deadpool Fights Off Good And Evil To Remain Number One     

Fox’s superhero comedy hit Deadpool made short order of newcomers Risen, The Witch and Race at the North America box office this weekend. The foul-mouthed mutant earned nearly four times as much as its closest competition, fellow Fox release Kung Fu Panda 3. With the President’s Day weekend over and done with, the box office came back down to Earth, although the top ten did post a 15% increase over last year at this time.

Despite a dip of 58% – an understandable decrease given its record-setting opening- Deadpool still delivered the goods on 3,722 screens in its second round. Connecting with viewers outside of its devout fan base, the Ryan Reynolds smash added an estimated $55 million to its coffers, which stands at an amazing $235 million after only ten days.

Add to that total $256 million from foreign markets and you have the first runaway hit of the New Year. Deadpool is already the sixth highest-grossing R-rated film of all time and should continue to climb up the list without much trouble thanks to strong word-of-mouth. Final totals for Deadpool could reach as high as $345 million in North America and possibly $800 million as an overall global gross.

The studio’s Kung Fu Panda 3 stayed put in second place, earning a solid $12.5 million from 3,448 screens in its fourth weekend of release. Down 37% from the holiday frame, the animated hit has earned $117 million so far Stateside and an additional $162 million from international markets ($137 million of that comes from China). Po and his pals have one more weekend at the multiplexes to themselves until Disney’s Zootopia arrives on the scene March 4th.

Sony’s biblical drama Risen ascended to third in its debut on 2,915 theaters, where it made an estimated $11.8 million. The $20 million production starring Joseph Fiennes and directed by Kevin Reynolds (Waterworld) received okay reviews and was largely marketed to the faith-based crowds that made recent films such as War Room and Heaven Is For Real hits.

A24 launched its horror feature The Witch on 2,046 screens Thursday night where it went on to earn an okay $8.7 million over the weekend, good enough for fourth. While the film earned solid marks from the critics -87% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes-, ticket buyers were less than enamored. They gave the New England supernatural tale a damning “C-“ on CinemaScore.

Rounding out the top five was Warner’s romantic comedy How To Be Single with $8.2 million from 3,357 screens. The Dakota Johnson film dropped 54% from its Valentine’s Day weekend debut, bringing its ten-day total to $31.7 million. A final gross near $50 million is possible.

The third and final new release of the weekend was the Focus drama Race, which stumbled right out of the gate with an estimated $7.2 million from 2,369 theaters for a sixth place finish. The Jesse Owens biopic, which stars Stephan James and was directed by Stephen Hopkins, earned okay reviews but failed to connect with audiences.

Outside the top five:

  1. Zoolander 2 (Paramount) $5.5 million (-60%); $23.7 million
  1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Disney) $3.8 million (-38%); $921.6 million
  1. The Revenant (Fox) $3.8 million (42%); $165 million
  1. Hail, Caesar! (Universal) $2.6 million (-59%); $26.1 million

Next weekend sees the arrival of Eddie the Eagle, Gods of Egypt and Triple 9. Will any of the three have what it takes to dislodge Deadpool? Doubtful, although Eddie the Eagle could have what it takes to become a sleeper hit.



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