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Just in case you haven’t been paying attention, Deadpool took over the damn world this past weekend, raking in $150 million over the four-day holiday, smashing records in violent, profane fashion. The titular character may be prone to decapitating people, the crudest possible humor you can imagine, and generally walking a fine line between hero and murderer, but the actor who plays him, Ryan Reynolds, is a pretty solid dude, and hooked up a sick you Deadpool fan with one hell of a surprise.
Connor McGrath is a young Canadian Deadpool fanatic who also happens to be battling High-Risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Thanks to Ryan Reynolds, he was also the first person outside of the studios and those involved with production to see Deadpool. Writing on his Facebook page, Reynolds revealed that six weeks ago he visited Connor in Alberta, Edmonton and showed him the movie. Connor is, at least according to Reynolds—and why would he lie?—a "potty-mouthed Canadian mercenary." You can tell as much just by looking at the kid, right?
Unfortunately, Connor’s disease is progressing, despite the treatment, and his family is in the process trying to raise a staggering $800,000 to continue the fight. They’re already well into their efforts, and have amassed more than $100,000 up to this point, and hopefully with more public attention, they will be able to reach their target.
It’s easy to see why Connor might have such an affinity with Deadpool. Not only is it entertaining as all hell—and despite the adult themes and content, the sense of humor feels tailor made for an adolescent audience—but the Merc with the Mouth also has a bout with a nasty form of cancer. Wade Wilson didn’t give up, and may very well be providing some inspiration for his young fan.
Many people expected Deadpool to be a hit, but it’s outperforming even the initial projections that anticipated a $90 million opening. $150 million in four days ($282 million total worldwide) is bonkers, especially for an R-rated movie—it broke the previous R-rated opening record by more than $40 million. And all of this was accomplished with a rather modest budget. Sure, $58 million sounds like a lot—for most of us, that’s an insane amount of money—but compared to most superhero movies these days, that’s not much.
Deadpool is currently in theaters, and looking at the upcoming slate of releases, should continue to dominate the box office for at least a few weeks.