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Wade Wilson holding up phone in Deadpool 2

In the first half of the decade, the Deadpool movie was still stuck in development hell, and it didn’t look like there was any hope for the Merc with the Mouth to be properly adapted following how he was mishandled in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. One leaked video changed everything, and in the latter half of the decade, Deadpool has become a pop culture sensation thanks to his two movie appearances thus far. Now we can also call him the heaviest commercial hitter of the X-Men film series, as Deadpool 2 has become the highest grossing movie of that franchise.

Deadpool 2 originally came out last May and enjoyed a standard amount of time in theaters, with its global haul adding up to approximately $738 million. But then last December, the PG-13-rated cut, Once Upon a Deadpool, was screened for a couple weeks domestically and shown in China. As reported by THR, that rerelease added an extra $45 million to Deadpool 2’s total take, $40 million of which came from China. As a result, Deadpool 2 has now succeeded Deadpool as the most financially successful X-Men universe movie with $784 million, just barely surpassing its predecessor’s $783 million. X-Men: Days of Future Past ranks third with nearly $748 million.

Clearly putting work into Once Upon a Deadpool paid off for 20th Century Fox. Besides showing audiences how Wade Wilson can work in a PG-13 environment, it also gave him a much-needed presence in China, which didn’t even screen the first Deadpool movie. By putting Deadpool through a more family-friendly lens, Fox received quite the winter bonus, allowing Deadpool 2, whether you prefer the original cut or the PG-13 one, to soar to the top.

One would think this bodes well for keeping Ryan Reynolds’ version of Deadpool around, even with the Disney/Fox merger looming. Although there’s been a lot of speculation about how the X-Men franchise will be rebooted in order to fit within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, even back in 2017, Disney CEO Bob Iger indicated that he was interested in having this iteration of Deadpool remain. Certainly the character’s fourth wall-breaking nature allows him to make the transition from the Fox-verse to the MCU more seamlessly, and this financial success adds extra incentive to take that creative approach.

As things stand now, X-Force and Deadpool 3 are currently in development, and are intended to be released in that order. X-Force, which is being written and directed by Drew Goddard, will see Deadpool teaming back up with Cable and Domino, while Deadpool 3, according to Reynolds, will be “looking to go in a completely different direction.” Whether one or both of these projects ever actually move forward remains to be seen.

Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for all the latest updates concerning Deadpool’s cinematic exploits. In the meantime, plan your trips to the theater later this year accordingly by checking out our 2019 release schedule.

SPOILERS: Deadpool 2 End Credits Sequence - What Happens And What It Means

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