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‘Deadpool’ Dominates Holiday Weekend Box Office With $150 Million Debut

The superhero film shatters all expectations and more than doubles initial estimates

“Deadpool” grossed $150 million over the four-day holiday weekend, marking the best opening ever for distributor Twentieth Century Fox.

The stunning number for the Ryan Reynolds superhero movie was also a Presidents Day weekend best, passing the $93 million mark that “Fifty Shades of Grey” set last year. “Deadpool” is also the biggest R-rated opener of all time, a distinction that “The Matrix Reloaded,” which debuted with $91.7 million, held for 13 years. “Deadpool” also marks the biggest opening ever in the month of February.

Over the three-day weekend, the action film grossed $132.7 million, based on a $58 million budget that is modest compared to those of most other superhero films.

“Deadpool” more than doubled the studio’s pre-release projections, which were originally in the $65-$70 million range, but the Thursday previews already propelled that number up when “Deadpool” launched with a record $12.7 million.

With a CinemaScore of A and a Rotten Tomatoes score of 84 percent “fresh,” the film stars Reynolds as Marvel Comics mercenary Wade Wilson, who develops super healing powers and a boulder-sized chip on his shoulder following an operation to cure his cancer.

The film also stars Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein and T.J. Miller, and is directed by Tim Miller.

Fox’s “Kung Fu Panda 3” came in at No. 2 in its third weekend at the box office, grossing $19.7 million for the three-day weekend and an estimated $26 million for the four days. It beat newcomers “Zoolander 2” and “How to Be Single.”

“How to Be Single,” starring Rebel Wilson, Leslie Mann, Dakota Johnson and Alison Brie, came in third with $17.9 million over the three days, and it is looking to gross an estimated $20.6 million over the four-day weekend, in line with projections from New Line and MGM. The film’s budget was $38 million.

“Zoolander 2,” starring Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Will Ferrell, took fourth place, grossing $13.9 million over the three-day weekend. It is looking at a four-day take of $16 million. The film, a sequel to 2001’s cult hit, cost $50 million. The first “Zoolander” movie opened to $15.5 million over a three-day weekend.