Nothing gets America's pop culture in a romantic mood like a rated-R movie full of nudity, violence and gratuitous, well, anything. Fifty Shades of Grey proved it with a record breaking Valentines weekend opening last year and Deadpool solidified the notion by shattering that record this year, taking a few others down along the way.
With an impressive $135 million opening, Deadpool obliterated the record for biggest ever February opening set by Fifty Shades of Grey's $85 million debut last year. It's also almost double the opening of the previous R-rated comic or graphic novel adaptation record holder, 300 and its $70 million kick off in 2007.
Clearly fans of Deadpool were delighted to see it arrive in theaters, but the question now is how well can it hold up? There's little competition arriving next weekend and if buzz about the movie's success can keep it afloat it might stand a chance of pushing its way into an eventual $300 million domestic run, putting the second string comic character in league with the likes of Iron Man 2 and Man of Steel.
Competition was rougher for the other two newcomers this weekend. Kung Fu Panda 3 demonstrated remarkable staying power, slipping less than 10% from last weekend to bank $19 million, enough to nab second place this weekend. Rated-R romantic comedy How to Be Single grabbed a close third place with $18 million, a tough starting point given a $38 million price tag and not much international interest.
Zoolander 2 seemed to be generating a lot of interest leading up to this weekend, but apparently there was only room for one leading man with strange clothes and even stranger behavior this weekend. The Ben Stiller-lead sequel took in just $15 million. While that's almost the exact same amount the first Zoolander earned, you have to bear in mind that movie came out in 2001. Average ticket prices have gone up about 50% since then, meaning Zoolander 2 sold about a third fewer tickets than its predecessor. It's also up against a $50 million price tag that spells box office trouble for the too-late-to-be-relevant sequel.
For the full weekend top ten, check out the chart below: