The Avengers’ reign atop the box office has come to an end at the hands of the black sheep of the Marvel family, as 20th Century Fox’s “Deadpool 2” takes over the top spot with an opening of $125 million.
That means that the Ryan Reynolds sequel will fall just short of the $132 million made by the first “Deadpool” two years ago, despite setting a new opening day record for R-rated films with $53 million. After that Friday result, industry estimates were projecting a 15 percent drop for Saturday, but the Saturday returns ended up being more than 20 percent down.
But Fox won’t cry over spilled milk — or perhaps in this antihero’s case, spilled blood — as “Deadpool 2” joins its predecessor as the only films released by the studio since 2011 to score openings above $100 million. With “DP2” making $301 million on 4,349 screens its opening weekend, it is the second-biggest launch and widest release in Fox’s history.
Even the X-Men — whom Deadpool loves to trash talk — haven’t reach that $100 million mark lately, as 2014’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past” opened to $90.8 million while last year’s “Logan” opened to $88 million. “Deadpool 2” also beat the openings of two recent Marvel Cinematic Universe films: “Spider-Man: Homecoming” ($117 million) and “Thor: Ragnarok” ($122 million).
“Avengers: Infinity War,” meanwhile, didn’t let Deadpool’s arrival affect it too much with $28.7 million in its fourth weekend, to bring its domestic total to $595 million. Globally, “Avengers” now sits at $1.81 billion after making $113 million worldwide this weekend, including $53.7 million in its second weekend in China.
After scoring a near-record $200 million last weekend – and $300 million after 10 days — at the Chinese box office, “Avengers” now sits fourth among all Western releases. The film is expected to become the first summer release to gross $2 billion worldwide, possibly by the end of Memorial Day weekend.
In third place this weekend was Paramount’s “Book Club,” which opened to an estimated $12.5 million from 2,781 theaters. That’s slightly ahead of box office expectations, but more importantly, the film starring Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda and Candice Bergen won over audiences with an A- on CinemaScore despite a tepid critical response with 58 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
According to CinemaScore’s demographic breakdown, 50 percent of opening night crowds polled were women over the age of 50, and women overall made up 80 percent. A common expectation with older audiences is that they tend to see films they are interested in later in their theatrical run. Paramount will be banking on this strong approval from the boomer generation to trigger results for the weeks to come.
Completing the top five are last week’s releases, WB/New Line’s “Life of the Party” and Universal’s “Breaking In,” both of which took steep drops this weekend. The Melissa McCarthy-led “Life of the Party” fell 58 percent to a $7.5 million result this weekend, giving the $32 million film a 10-day total of $30 million. “Breaking In” starring Gabrielle Union fell 63 percent to $6.4 million, but has already made its money back with a $28 million 10-day total against a $6 million production budget.
Sitting outside the top five is Global Road’s “Show Dogs,” which failed to win Best in Show with just $6 million from 3,145 screens.