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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by (*#*(@} Klady

Friday Estimates 2016-02-13 at 8.18.13 AM

One can’t overstate how strong this Deadpool opening is. What the 3-day number is doesn’t much matter.

It’s the best opening day number ever for January, February, and the first 3 weeks of March.

It tops its obvious comp, Guardians of The Galaxy, by just under $10 million.

It’s the biggest R-rated opening day ever, beating The Matrix Reloaded‘s $42.5 million. (I am combining the Thursday and Friday number, which were not reported as a single day back in the ancient days of 2003, when facts were facts.)

It’s more than a 50% improvement on the Fifty Shades of Grey opening day last year in this slot ($30.3 million).

There have to be a bunch more records coming from Friday alone with a bunch of 3-day records sure to fall (even before they start making new ones up).

The question about all of this is, “why?” And my take is that this is the beginning of the “end” of the comic book genre moving forward (until it makes a comeback a few years later with a “new” innovative genre take). This doesn’t mean that Batman vs Superman will tank… or Captain America: Civil War or X-Men: Apocalypse. But one of them could come up well short of expectations. Maybe more than one. It could be that the off brands, like Suicide Squad, Gambit or Dr. Strange become the kinds of films that audiences prefer for a while (though like all one-offs, there is even greater danger of out and out bombs).

Add to this that we are at the age-out part of the cycle with the most powerful of the comic book franchises, Marvel’s Avengers. How many movies will the current crew make, how old will they get in the roles, and how big are the wheelbarrows of cash that can be offered before it gets prohibitive? I’m sure you have noticed that we are on our third Spider-Man in less than a decade.

This is a problem inherent in superhero movies in general. A cliche. Origins, bigger suit, multiple suits… rinse, re-cast, repeat. What do you do with a superpowerful being over and over and over? How do you create vulnerability?

Iron Man was the breakout character, who also came at just the right moment in the CG evolution. But was it Downey or was it the character and the music and Favreau & Feige’s choices? We will most likely find out before 2020. (Ironically, Old Iron Man might be more interesting in the next few years than another more traditional Iron Man. They could age 50 and aging Robert Downey, Jr up to 60+ and play that angle.)

Are the second tier characters going to able to become as popular as the first tier or will the economics start to become a bigger and bigger problem? We will have a pretty good sense of this as the next 2 years play out. There are 13/14 Marvel/DC Universe movies due in that period. There will be shake-ups.

Of course, there is the other take on this… that Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool is, simply, the equivalent of Downey as Iron Man and that Marvel and Fox and everyone else can simply, cleanly built on/around the next Marvel superstar. We’ll see. Spider-Man turns up in Civil War, apparently. Someone will reboot Fantastic Four for a third time in a decade.

The success of Deadpool is thrilling and scary and perhaps something right in between and only time will tell what it really means.

How To Be Single… meh opening. And can’t really blame Deadpool. Comparing it to Fifty Shades, last year’s Valentine’s Day movie, is unfair. But it will also come up short of 2014’s Endless Love and About Last Night. And 2013’s Warm Bodies and Safe Haven. Or comedies Just Go With It and Valentine’s Day. Underwhelming. Sorry.

Zoolander 2 needed a different date. Clearly, Paramount didn’t see Deadpool coming. And in this case, there is a real demo conflict. But even so, Zoolander 2 is what happens when Anchorman 2 does 50% more than the original (almost double worldwide). I have no idea what Zoolander 2‘s budget was and you have to hand it to the team, they have worked their asses off on promotion… but if this one does the same domestically as the first and doubles the international, they will likely get away unbloodied (except for the reviews). But the date and the competition definitely meant that no one would be wandering in to this one because that was at the multiplex and they felt like going to the movies this weekend. And that could have meant 25% more business.

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39 Responses to “Friday Estimates by (*#*(@} Klady”

  1. Christian says:

    So another Golden Palm winner opens to a whimper? Sad.

  2. Doug R says:

    America IS Ryanville

  3. Stella's Boy says:

    How to Be Single outperforms Zoolander 2. Impressive. I feel like for the last week or two I couldn’t read any media outlet, print or online, without coming across Z2 coverage of some kind. On the other hand, HTBS seemed like it was flying under the radar. Rough drop for Hail, Caesar!

  4. PcChongor says:

    Poor “Hail, Caesar!” At least its cult status in ten years is now completely guaranteed.

  5. movieman says:

    Christian- “Dheepan” doesn’t open in the U.S. until April via Sundance Selects/IFC. (I’m assuming the above gross is Canadian.)
    It’s bond to do a tad better here.
    But I don’t think it’ll be one of Audiard’s top-grossing U.S. releases, Palme or not.

  6. movieman says:

    …bound to do a tad better here.

  7. Doug R says:

    That’s over $13,000 a screen.

  8. js partisan says:

    David, IT’S FUCKING DEADPOOL! I am sure many, almost all of the people on this blog, have no idea who the fuck Wade Wilson is. They have no idea how this character, started some 26 years ago, has become one of the most important characters in all of the fucking Marvel universe. He sells merch left and right for the company, and is easily the most important part of that FOX/MARVEL deal. Nothing else, not even the X-Men, come close to being as valuable as Deadpool, because IT’S FUCKING DEADPOOL! Yes. The cursing is for an R-rated movie opening this well, but it’s a comic book movie. You think theatres were carding teenagers for a comic book movie? Fuck no.

    Nevertheless, if you want human vulnerability in comic book films, then look closer at the films… even those DC films. All of them, every single one of them, are about flawed characters, working through their shit, on a rather large, EARTH SAVING, stage. Seriously David, WB haven’t even come close to telling an awesome Superman story. Marvel, has yet to produce an awesome Spider-man story. There is so much depth to these stories, that your line of questioning makes very little sense.

  9. movieman says:

    Can anyone think of a director–active since the ’90s–who specializes in “political thrillers”?
    The only name I could think of was Paul Greengrass, but he didn’t really emerge on H’wood’s radar until 2002’s “Bloody Sunday.”
    I know that it isn’t Costa Gavras, lol.

  10. PcChongor says:

    Oliver Stone is about to come out with a Snowden flick, so I’d say he still counts. South America and South Korea still put out some really solid ones too.

  11. movieman says:

    I thought of Stone, too, Pc.
    But he’s been around longer than the ’90s.
    And while Stone is avowedly political (most of the time anyway), it’s a bit of a stretch to describe his films as “thriller”s.

  12. brack says:

    Deadpool was my favorite comic book character in the 90’s. I regret canceling my subscription of his title once I got into my first year in college. Never got around to reading the Deadpool/Cable comics. I’ll try to catch up.

    Also, the movie is very good, maybe even great, for what it is. The budget clearly limited some scenes, and the origin portion kind of lagged and the villain was still pretty generic, but those were minor quibbles. David needs to see the movie and read up on Deadpool before calling this the “end” of the comic book genre moving forward. If anything, it’s the beginning of the comic movie genre moving forward.

  13. Amblinman says:

    Deadpool opened because it seemed an anti-comic movie and the rciews have been great. I think. Who cares. More importantly I saw the movie and JS is unfortunately right: it’s just another superhero movie. The opening is fun but then the rest bleh. Boring as shit. Fight sequences are pretty bland. Too bad.

    PS: Loved the new Batman v Superman trailer. I bet it turns out the Bats stuff is cool and everything else is crappy.

  14. brack says:

    Amblinman – Deadpool is a hero when he needs to be, but his tag line is “the Merc with a Mouth.” I imagine the sequel (which I figure with this opening there’s no doubt going to be a sequel) will get very dark, very quickly. Also, the budget was tiny compared to other comic book movies, so I expected the action to be not the best, but I thought it still was good for a smaller comic book story. I didn’t mean dark as in “brooding”, DC sense, but with the character and his psychopathic tendencies, while still being a hoot. I could be wrong. The character has a lot of room to grow, as we only got a glimpse in the film, which was too short for my tastes. I agree the action wasn’t the best, but I need to see it again as I was having a splitting headache and still enjoyed it. It’s a very funny movie, funnier than most straight-up comedies imo. Deadpool’s personality and sense of humor isn’t for everyone. I do think Fox blew some of their load with hammering the same jokes over and over in the marketing, but those were hardly the biggest laughs in the movie. I do see this as a similar surprise akin to RDJ with Iron Man. Time will tell.

  15. Kevin says:

    “The budget clearly limited some scenes, and the origin portion kind of lagged and the villain was still pretty generic, but those were minor quibbles.”

    Minor quibbles? I agree with all of those and they made DEADPOOL a huge letdown for me. It’s funny at times, but the origin stuff is boring, as is the love story, I couldn’t care less about the villain and the action scenes are hard to follow (too many close-ups and fast cutting).

  16. movieman says:

    Not sure if I’d call it boring, Kevin.
    And the love story–which didn’t really kick in for me until the final 30 minutes–was actually my favorite part of the movie.
    Until then, it just felt like a lot of snarky sadism.
    As far as R-rated comic book movies go, I still prefer “Kingsman” and the first “Kick-Ass.”
    But props to Reynolds for finally getting his own cash cow franchise after a failed attempt w/ “Green Lantern” five years ago. That’s what every 21st century working actor aspires to, isn’t it?

  17. leahnz says:

    ‘Can anyone think of a director–active since the ’90s–who specializes in “political thrillers”?’

    i don’t understand the “since the 90’s” distinction movieman, why that random qualifier, i feel like i missed something. nobody really makes ‘political thrillers’ in the old-school sense anymore (actually nobody makes mainstream ‘thrillers’ anymore, rarely anyhow, ‘gone girl’ probably qualifies as a recent murder/media thriller. tony scott’s probably missed in this regard, his sensibility was action-thrilleresque at any rate).

    the bourne flicks are probably the closest and you mentioned greengrass, gilroy does political cat and mousers but not exactly ‘thrillers’ in the traditional sense, ‘michael clayton’ is good (‘duplicity’ is more industrial espionage yeah). i guess it depends on what you consider a thriller at the end of the day. ‘state of play’ is decent, mcdonald’s probably one of the better young directors but doesn’t specialise in ‘political thrillers’ tho he has been around since the ’90’s doing docs. ‘fair game’ was about as thrilling as a book fair even though i have time for liman, he might do better given the right circumstance. clooney’s done a couple politicos with ‘ides of march’ and ‘good night’ but again, not so much with the thrilling so doesn’t really qualify. clooney as a director is a bit low-voltage sad trombone. ‘argo’ but affleck is crime focused. i guess greengrass and gilroy are the closest, both post-2000. a sad state of political thriller affairs

  18. Amblinman says:

    @brack I dont know if budget would be to blame for boring action set pieces. Did this movie cost more than something like John Wick? My biggest quibble with the action is Deadpool displayed very little personality in his physicality. He became boring ninja dude. The slo mo car wreck in the beginning when he’s giving an assassin a wedgie is the stuff I wanted. And I’m definitely a target audience for the humor, I laugh at fart jokes like a mental patient. The movie went ultra bland after a terrific opening.

    I wouldn’t bet on the sequel going darker. My guess is it will go much broader once a FRANCHISE is at stake. The first movie was the best shot possible at getting a “pure” Deadpool movie. We got a quarter of one.

  19. brack says:

    Spider-Man 2 was far superior to Spider-Man, X2 was superior to X-Men, The Dark Knight to Batman Begins, etc. Considering how big Deadpool is opening this weekend, I’d beg to differ that it won’t go darker. It has to, especially considering how the movie ended.

  20. leahnz says:

    looking around at some reviews/reaction to ‘deadpool’ it’s mindboggling to see it described as ‘inventive’ or ‘different’ or ‘subversive’, is this for real? like a litmus test in just how far things have gone downhill in this era of superhero uber-snark pop culture where something as conventional and same-ol’ same ol’ in style, design, humour and execution just with the volume turned up swearier, sillier and bloodier is now considered inventive or (god forbid) ‘subversive’. i’m no deadpool aficionado but i remember from the comics his face was always melting off grossly and musical numbers and bea arthur and a bisexual bent and capering about being an absolute freak, pretty out there and bizarre. in a genre that actually could utilise imaginative story and designs and set-piece action amenable to the fantastical realm of superhero crap, even on a tighter sub-400gazillin dollar marvel budget, deadpool had a chance to be something distinctive, subversive and strange. but noooooo even deadpool is made conventional and bland with pedestrian action and a boring story, that’s quite a trick somehow, the great blandening spreads across the land like a mind-dulling cloud
    (disclosure i nodded off during one of the flashback bits at a late show)

  21. movieman says:

    Leah- Blame EW, lol.
    In their current Oscar issue, the director anonymously quoted about his voting picks was described as having been active since the ’90s and specializing in political thrillers.
    Whenever I hear “political thrillers,” I automatically flash back to the ’70s (“Three Days of the Condor,” “The Parallax View,” “The Conversation,” “All the President’s Men,” etc., etc.). It was strange seeing the word “political” used to describe a contemporary (Hollywood) director’s body of work.
    Greengrass is probably the only contempo director who truly fits the description.

  22. brack says:

    Yeah, all superhero movies feature the hero getting buttf*cked by their girlfriends wearing strap-on dildos, I forgot how conventional that is today. /sarcasm.

  23. Amblinman says:

    @brack the problem with your comparisons is Miller doesn’t display anything in this one resembling any of the filmmakers responsible for those films you mentioned. And the landscape for this stuff has changed greatly since Knight, the last of that bunch.

  24. Amblinman says:

    I think Leah is spot on, actually. Pointing out the strap on bit doesn’t really negate the criticism that the film plays it mostly safe and bland. (Even that bit plays out vanilla, Wilson immediately tells her to take it out thus reassuring his young male target demo that he ain’t no queer.)

  25. brack says:

    @Amblinman You mentioned the sequel would less likely go darker; I listed all movies where the sequel did. The filmmakers made a version of Deadpool that still carried the spirit of the comic book. And just because the strap-on didn’t feel good doesn’t make the scene vanilla; maybe it was too big for him. Regardless it’s a funny gag. It’s a comedy first, a comic book movie second, and the movie is funnier than most straight-up comedies that have been released in the last several years. Clearly the jokes didn’t work for you, and that’s okay.

  26. Amblinman says:

    So if its a comedy first why would you compare it to something like Batman Begins? And if it’s first and foremost a comedy, why would its sequel be more likely go dark instead of broader?

    Not sure I agree with you a hundred percent on your police work, there, Lou.

  27. brack says:

    Batman became a franchise that went darker. Deadpool is going to be a franchise as well. They’re both comic book properties. It’s not that hard to connect the dots, but you seem to be making it a chore for yourself. The franchise will have to go darker, almost by default because of the “happily ever after” ending that no one really believes will happen, because where’s the fun in that. She’ll leave or get killed, and Deadpool will go on a crazy spree. Think of it like a warped Bourbe Supremacy premise.

  28. amblinman says:

    “Batman became a franchise that went darker. Deadpool is going to be a franchise as well. They’re both comic book properties.”

    “(Deadpool)It’s a comedy first, a comic book movie second”

    “It’s not that hard to connect the dots, but you seem to be making it a chore for yourself.”

    Evidently it’s incredibly hard to connect the dots based on your own descriptions. We do agree that trying to follow your reasoning *is* a chore, though. High five!

  29. brack says:

    Only for you. I like how you ignore my statements that support my points. You just cut and paste what I wrote as if those were the only stamens I made and had no context to them, kudos to you! Apparently you don’t understand what a franchise is or how most work, and how just because one is more action oriented and another is more comedy-driven doesn’t change the idea that characters in franchises usually have some sort of growth. Deadpool is all about his character, that’s what people went to see the movie for, and that’s what will drive the sequel(s). I’m not saying it’s not going to be very funny. Just because something is darker doesn’t mean it can’t be funny. Ever read a Deadpool comic?

  30. Hcat says:

    I have never read a Deadpool comic. And I will guarantee you that at least 80% of this weekends audience haven’t either. Not that this isn’t a massively successful film but its not from pent up demand for this specific property to make it to the screen. Any more than there was 200 million dollars worth of Henry Pym fans that finally got their wishes fulfilled last summer.

  31. leahnz says:

    to movieman if you see this: yeah i really was missing something, i had no idea to what you were referring but i get it now haha
    so…by that description it can’t be greengrass – since he was almost exclusively a uk tv director pre-2000 – and nobody else fits the “specializing in political thrillers” profile, so maybe the ‘active since the 90’s’ descriptor is an error and it is greengrass? (i don’t even know what was said so just blowing smoke, no idea what i’m talking about)

    maybe people jonesing for more deadpool could just like, go back and watch the scenes in ‘blade: trinity’ with ryan ‘i can’t act my way out of a paper bag to save my life!’ reynolds in it giving a remarkably similar smug, snarky, obnoxious hand-to-hand-combat-guy-with-weapons-and-a-big-mouth performance (only less puerile), you can just imagine him with a bag over his head talking to camera while skipping from scene to scene and there you go, bob’s yer snarky uncle

  32. Mostly Lurking says:

    Can anyone think of a director–active since the ’90s–who specializes in “political thrillers”?
    The only name I could think of was Paul Greengrass, but he didn’t really emerge on H’wood’s radar until 2002’s “Bloody Sunday.”
    I know that it isn’t Costa Gavras, lol.”

    Several days late on this and I recognize my question might not be seen. That said, I’m curious, was the purpose of this question to figure out who the anonymous director was in Entertainment Weekly’s annual Secret Oscar Ballot story?

  33. leahnz says:

    fwiw did you read the comments? movieman explained this very thing to me in a comment above, it was the EW thing

    this blog is kind of hilarious, mostly crickets unless it’s box office related.

    random spam: if there’s a barry manilow biopic bradley cooper has to play the titular diva
    i caught an ep of ‘silent witness’ with daisy ridley in a guest role (pre SW), quite non-rey-like and rather good.
    i’d forgotten just how much the puppetry segments in Being John Malko foreshadow the sensibility of the fleshier counterparts in ‘anomalisa’, like the stages of pinocchio becoming a real boy

  34. Mostly Lurking says:

    fwiw did you read the comments? movieman explained this very thing to me in a comment above, it was the EW thing”

    I had read it last week, but either didn’t notice or didn’t remember that explanation. Thanks.

  35. cadavra says:

    As for political-thriller directors, how about Rod Lurie?

  36. leahnz says:

    hey yeah lurie would seem possible, technically just squeaks in by the “active since the ’90s” qualifier with ‘deterrence’. (‘the contender’ is his only somewhat thrilling ‘political thriller’ in my book, mostly due to allen’s crackerjack perf but the supporting cast is good and it’s decently written and directed by lurie, probably his best directorial effort in feature films)

  37. cadavra says:

    Leah, did you see Lurie’s NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH? A truly remarkable film that had the nightmare of its distributor going under just as the film was about to open. He also created the short-lived TV series “Commander-in-Chief,” so he’s actually worked this territory quite a bit.

  38. leahnz says:

    i totally spaced on ‘nothing but the truth’ cadavra, that was good too. i’ll try to watch it again, i’ve seen ‘the contender’ a couple times but ‘nothing’ only once i think (never saw ‘commander-in-chief’ but i think you could be onto something here with your guess, lurie seems a likely candidate)

  39. YancySkancy says:

    Yeah, Lurie also wrote one of those Hollywood Reporter responses to the OscarsSoWhite thing, so he’s a very good guess.

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