Weeks before Deadpool hit theaters, box office analysts were predicting the R-rated superhero adaptation would bring in between $55 million and $60 million during its opening weekend, which swelled to anywhere between $70 million and $80 million leading up to the February 12 debut. Star Ryan Reynolds' passion project exceed every expectation, shattering a number of records en route to a $135 million opening weekend, more than doubling its $58 million budget. Many are wondering how other studios will react to this success, with some hoping this may pave the way for others to give the green light for more R-rated superhero movies. Earlier today, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn issued a lengthy statement on his Facebook page, revealing not only how much he loved the movie, but why he thinks it succeeded.
"'The film has a self-deprecating tone that's riotous. It's never been done before. It's poking fun at Marvel. That label takes itself so seriously, can you imagine them making fun of themselves in a movie? They'd rather stab themselves.' That's a quote from Deadline Hollywood, attributing it to a Hollywood 'suit.' I love Deadline and get a lot of my film business news from them. And I love Deadpool even more - the film is hilariously funny, has lots of heart, and is exactly what we need right now, taking true risks in spectacle film - but COME THE F--K ON. That's no reason to rewrite history. This quote has to have been said by the dumbest f---ing Hollywood exec in the history of dumb f---ing Hollywood execs. Let's ignore Guardians for a moment, a movie that survives from moment to moment building itself up and cutting itself down - God knows I'm biased about that one. But what do you think (Jon) Favreau and (Robert) Downey (Jr.) did in Iron Man? What the f--k was Ant-Man??! Come on, Deadline. After every movie smashes records people here in Hollywood love to throw out the definitive reasons why the movie was a hit. I saw it happen with Guardians. It 'wasn't afraid to be fun' or it 'was colorful and funny' etc etc etc. And next thing I know I hear of a hundred film projects being set up 'like Guardians,' and I start seeing dozens of trailers exactly like the Guardians trailer with a big pop song and a bunch of quips. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Deadpool wasn't that. Deadpool was its own thing. THAT'S what people are reacting to. It's original, it's damn good, it was made with love by the filmmakers, and it wasn't afraid to take risks. For the theatrical experience to survive, spectacle films need to expand their definition of what they can be. They need to be unique and true voices of the filmmakers behind them. They can't just be copying what came before them. So, over the next few months, if you pay attention to the trades, you'll see Hollywood misunderstanding the lesson they should be learning with Deadpool. They'll be green lighting films 'like Deadpool' - but, by that, they won't mean 'good and original' but 'a raunchy superhero film' or 'it breaks the fourth wall.' They'll treat you like you're stupid, which is the one thing Deadpool didn't do. But hopefully in the midst of all this there will be a studio or two that will take the right lesson from this - like Fox did with Guardians by green-lighting Deadpool - and say - 'Boy, maybe we can give them something they don't already have.' And that's who is going to succeed. Have a great day."
James Gunn certainly knows a thing or two about Deadpool's meteoric rise, since Guardians of the Galaxy was predicted by some to be Marvel Studios' first "flop." It ended up exceeding expectations by taking in a whopping $94.3 million in its opening weekend, en route to a $333.1 million domestic take and $773.3 million worldwide. The director is currently getting ready to shoot Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in Atlanta, but he wasn't the only one from both Marvel and DC Comics to chime in on the movie's success.
DC's Geoff Johns, X-Men: First Class and Thor writer Zack Stentz, concept artist Andy Park, X-Men: Apocalypse star Nicholas Hoult and others such as Mark Millar, Josh Gad and stunt coordinator James Bamford chimed in with their thoughts about this comic book adaptation over the weekend, with all of them praising this unique movie. They also chimed in on what projects could be announced in the wake of Deadpool's success, such as Lobo, The Boys, The Authority, or, as Mark Millar suggested, an R-rated version of his Nemesis adaptation. Ryan Reynolds even took to his Twitter account to thank the fans for the movie's success.
Deadpool's $135 million take broke several records, such as the highest opening weekend for any R-rated movie, breaking The Matrix Reloaded's 13-year-old record of $91.7 million. It also broke Fifty Shades of Grey's February record of $85.1 million, along with its four-day President's Day weekend record ($93 million), and posted the highest opening weekend for any movie in 20th Century Fox history, surpassing 2005's Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith record of $108.4 million. Take a look at these tweets below congratulating Deadpool on its massive success.
Thank you Deadpool. That was fun.— James Bamford (@JamesBamford) February 15, 2016
I'm sure terrible lessons will be learned by Deadpool's success-"Make it cheap & sweary, with jokes!" but good ones, too. Make it DIFFERENT.— Zack Stentz (@MuseZack) February 14, 2016
You hear that noise? That's the sound of the Nemesis movie's R-rating being confirmed :) https://t.co/wK71doxUQf— Mark Millar (@mrmarkmillar) February 13, 2016