While Avengers: Infinity War has easily dominated the first three weekends of summer, its time at the top has most likely come to an end. While there are three new movies hitting theaters this weekend, including the comedies Book Club and Show Dogs, it will be the R-rated superhero action comedy Deadpool 2 that will easily come out on top. If our projections are accurate, it will break its own record for the highest opening weekend for any R-rated movie, raking in a huge $153.7 million.
The most recent projections have put Deadpool 2 at around $150 million, but given the buzz swirling around the movie, it wouldn't be surprising to see it go even higher. When the first Deadpool was getting ready for its release, the initial box office projections were at roughly $50 million, which, for an R-rated superhero movie is definitely a solid number, but the Merc With the Mouth managed to destroy those projections with a record-breaking $132.4 million. The movie would go on to earn $363 million, the second highest domestic tally for an R-rated movie, behind the 2004 faith-based hit The Passion Of the Christ ($370.7 million), and $783.1 million worldwide, the highest-grossing R-rated movie ever worldwide.
There's a possibility that the Deadpool 2 opening weekend is actually much higher, since the sequel is already faring better with critics, with Deadpool 2 scoring an 85% rating out of 88 reviews (75 positive, 13 negative), which comes in just above the 83% score (255 positive, 51 rotten) of the original Deadpool. The sequel also has a decided edge over the original when it comes to theater count, with the follow-up reportedly opening in an estimated 4,200 theaters, roughly 700 more than the original, which debuted in 3,558 theaters in February 2016. Global Road's Show Dogs is set to open in approximately 3,000 theaters while Book Club debuts in roughly 2,500 theaters.
We're projecting that the top 5 will be rounded out by last weekend's winner, Avengers: Infinity War, dropping to second place in its fourth weekend with $32.6 million, followed by Life of the Party ($9.2 milion), Book Club ($8.6 million) and Breaking In ($8.3 million). The top 10 will likely be rounded out by Show Dogs ($7.1 million), Overboard ($5.6 million), A Quiet Place ($3.1 million), I Feel Pretty ($1.9 million) and Rampage ($1.7 million). If Black Panther finds a way to crack the top 10, it will be the 14th week in a row it has done so, which is certainly not a record (E.T. was in the top 10 for 35 straight weeks) but it will be the first time any movie has achieved this feat since Avatar in 2009.
Looking ahead to next week, Deadpool 2's projected reign atop the box office will likely be quite short, with LucasFilm and Disney rolling out Solo: A Star Wars Story in theaters over the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Solo will have no direct competition over the holiday frame, a rarity for any holiday weekend, but, then again, no one wants to compete with the box office juggernaut that has become the Star Wars franchise. Take a look at our projections for the weekend of May 18, and check back on Sunday for the top 10 estimates, courtesy of Box Office Mojo.