When box office analysts first started tracking Deadpool in January, they were estimating that it would earn somewhere between $55 million and $60 million during its opening weekend. For an R-rated movie, those numbers are certainly solid, but the Merc With the Mouth shocked the world by bringing in $132.4 million, breaking the record for the highest-grossing R-rated debut by nearly $40 million. On the heels of this unprecedented success, many have wondered if it will open the door for the Disney-owned Marvel Studios to consider R-rated adventures, but it seems that isn't the case. The Los Angeles Times reporter Daniel Miller reveals that Disney CEO Robert A. Iger shut down this notion.
"We don't have any plans to make R-rated Marvel movies."
Of course, this doesn't come as a terribly huge surprise, since Marvel has found enormous success with their PG-13 superhero movies. The studio will kick off Phase Three in just a few short months with Captain America: Civil War (May 6), which will be followed by a slew of superhero adventures through the year 2019. Debuting later this year is Doctor Strange (November 4), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (May 5, 2017), Spider-Man (July 7, 2017), Thor: Ragnarok (November 3, 2017), Black Panther (February 16, 2018), Avengers: Infinity War Part I (May 4, 2018), Ant-Man and the Wasp (July 6 2018), Captain Marvel (March 8, 2019), Avengers: Infinity War - Part II (May 3, 2019) and Inhumans (July 12, 2019).
The studio hasn't announced any of its Phase 4 movies yet, but unless Deadpool sparks a massive trend of wildly successful R-rated movies, it seems clear that the MCU will stay in its PG-13 lane. However, there have been reports that 20th Century Fox's may take advantage of this R-rated success with a number of its Marvel superhero projects that are in development. There have been rumors that Wolverine 3, which marks Hugh Jackman's final portrayal of the iconic title character, will be R-rated, and the studio's X-Force may also go the R-rated route.
X-Force was first announced back in 2013, when 20th Century Fox brought on Jeff Wadlow (Kick-Ass 2) to write the script and possibly direct. Last week, just days before Deadpool hit theaters, star Ryan Reynolds revealed that X-Force was his top priority, and while no cast members have been confirmed yet, Deadpool was part of the X-Force lineup in the comics books, which were also created by Rob Liefeld. Ryan Reynolds even appeared in a brief video with Olivia Munn, who plays Psylocke in X-Men: Apocalypse, and, in the comics, was also an X-Force member.
As of now, Deadpool has made $292.6 million domestically and $621.4 million worldwide. The movie has already beat The Matrix Reloaded's $281.6 million mark to become the highest-grossing R-rated movie at the domestic box office, and it's closing in on that same movie's worldwide record of $742 million. It's also worth noting that Deadpool's $132.4 million opening weekend was higher than all of the MCU movies except for three, Iron Man 3 ($174.1 million), Avengers: Age of Ultron ($191.2 million) and Marvel's The Avengers ($207.8 million). It remains to be seen how many more records Deadpool will break before ending its theatrical run, but it's success may signal a new wave of R-rated superhero adventures. Do you think Marvel should make R-rated movies?