“Deadpool 2” broken the opening-day record for an R-rated movie with a $53.3 million debut, reclaiming the title its predecessor had held until the $50.4 million Friday debut of “It” last September.
Fox’s sequel, which was distributed to a studio-record 4,349 screens, is now on pace to match the 2016 original’s $132 million opening weekend total.
Critics and audiences loved the film as much as Wade Wilson’s first outing, giving it an 84 percent Rotten Tomatoes score and an A on CinemaScore.
The $53 million start for “Deadpool 2” includes $18 million from Thursday previews, also a record for R-rated films.
This new record was fueled in good part by robust advance ticket sales. Fandango reported that sales for “Deadpool 2” on their site were outpacing that of the first “Deadpool,” while Atom Tickets reported that the sequel was now their biggest advance seller ever, passing even “Avengers: Infinity War.” Atom reported the demographic breakdown of the sales as 61 percent male and 57 percent under the age of 34.
In the face of this comic book movie competition, “Avengers: Infinity War” is looking at a fourth-weekend total of about $27 million, which would bring the Disney/Marvel Studios megahit a few million short of $600 million domestic.
“Avengers” shed about 400 screens with the arrival of “Deadpool 2,” and will likely shed more next weekend when “Solo: A Star Wars Story” arrives.
“Infinity War” passed $1.7 billion worldwide on Thursday and is expected to make history by crossing $2 billion sometime during Memorial Day weekend.
In third is Paramount’s “Book Club,” which is looking at an opening of $14-15 million from 2,781 locations. The comedy, which grossed $4.7 million on Friday, stars Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen.
While critics have been mixed with a 57 percent RT score, the film succeeded in winning over older female audiences, who gave it an A- on CinemaScore.
That’s good news for Paramount, who bought distribution rights for $10 million and will now look for the good word of mouth to carry “Book Club” to strong numbers in the coming weeks.
The top five is completed by last week’s releases, Warner Bros./New Line’s “Life of the Party” and Universal’s “Breaking In.”
“Life of the Party” is estimated to fall around 60 percent from its $17.8 million start after making $2.2 million on its second Friday, while “Breaking In” is estimated for a 63 percent drop after making $1.9 million.
This should put the 10-day total for both films at $29-30 million, though this is better news for “Breaking In” as it has a $6 million budget compared to $32 million for “Life of the Party.”
Falling outside the top five is Global Road’s family comedy “Show Dogs” with an estimated $5 million opening from 3,212 screens. The film has an A- on CinemaScore, mostly from kids who loved the slapstick comedy of a cop (Will Arnett) who goes undercover at a dog show with his talking canine partner, but critics panned it with a 26 percent RT score.
Finally, Warner Bros. brought back “2001: A Space Odyssey” for a limited engagement to celebrate the legendary sci-fi epic’s 50th anniversary.
Four theaters, one each in L.A., New York, San Francisco, and Chicago, screened a restored 70mm print of Stanley Kubrick’s film taken from the original negative by a team led by Kubrick and 70mm enthusiast Christopher Nolan. The limited engagement made $57,000 on Friday and is expected to have the highest per-screen average of the weekend.
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