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It used to be that if you were going to release a superhero film as recognizable as Deadpool, you either released it in the summer or you thought long and hard about how to explain yourself otherwise. But as the film market gets more crowded, recognizable properties that are still untested find themselves using the off season to make a name for themselves. It looks like Ryan Reynolds' R-rated carnival ride is doing just that – with a big opening weekend in the cards, as a result.
The Hollywood Reporter released the tracking numbers for Deadpool ahead of its February 12th release date, and the results are encouraging, to say the least. Not only is the film the "first choice" pick among males and females for that weekend, it's also clocking in with an estimated range of $55 million to $60 million in ticket sales. For reference, this puts the film on track to crush its competition – in particular Zoolander 2, which is quoted for a $20+ million opening.
Even with the most bullish estimate for Deadpool's box office fortune, the film finds itself with a wide gap between its hypothetical fate and the recently set record pace of $93 million. Of course, that figure was generated by the launch of Fifty Shades Of Grey, which was bound to rack up its fair share of Valentine's audiences last year. However, the Tim Miller directed Marvel picture could find itself besting that other hit from the weekend of love, as Kingsman: The Secret Service raked in $41.8 million in second place.
No matter how you slice the opening estimates for Deadpool, the numbers promise that Fox's gamble on an R-rated superhero film is going to pay dividends. As the film was made on a modest, but undisclosed, budget; it was allowed to go pretty much hog wild when it came to all of the sex, violence, and profanity that it could indulge in. However, this has come at a cost, as the international market-share of the film will find itself somewhat diminished when compared to a Marvel Studios film, as China's already banned the film from exhibition. With strong numbers being discussed for the U.S. premiere of the film, it looks like the studio won't be hurting too bad in the long run.
The best case scenario for the fortunes of Ryan Reynolds and his beloved Deadpool would peg the film opening strong with its $60 million figure, only to dominate / make a strong showing of the rest of the typically empty month. It's a strategy that seemed to work for Fox's release of The Martian last year, and with that film grossing almost $600 million worldwide in its theatrical run – on the back of an opening of similar strength – it looks like it'll work again.
Deadpool lines up his shot on February 12th, just in time to blow a hole through your Valentine's Day.