Los Angeles. Superheroes were about to disappear, right? They were too predictable and repetitive, remember? But two years after the arrival of a new syndrome called “superhero fatigue”, those fears seem to have dissipated. Ryan Reynolds is back with his irreverent Merc with the Mouth on Deadpool 2, this time on a mission to stop the terrible Cable (Josh Brolin).
And while international audiences responded with a $176.3 million debut, North American fans responded with $125 million. That’s a few million less than the domestic debut of the original Deadpool, but $300 million on a first weekend out of a reported investment of $110 million is not so bad after all.
The new Deadpool’s numbers were achieved without China, where the date of release has not been established yet. But even if the country was distracted by the Royal Wedding, the UK was still good for an impressive $18 million. South Korea grossed $17 million, followed by Russia and Australia with close to $12 million and Mexico with $10M. Another film based on superheroes, actually on a collection of prominent superheroes, keeps doing excellent business and has shown no plans to gently leave the stage. Avengers: Infinity War was No. 2 in the US, with $28.7 million and a total of $595 million. Overseas it added $84 million, most of it generated out of China where it crossed the $300 million mark after just 10 days of release, enough to make it the fourth-best Hollywood release of all time in the Magic Kingdom and also the fourth-biggest worldwide release of all time. China turned out to be surprisingly good also for John Krasinki: horror films are not very popular over there, but his A Quiet Place had a $18.8 million debut, which brings that movie’s global close to $300 million.
Back to Avengers, the worldwide total stands now at $1.82 billion, an amount that raises an inevitable question: will the film pass the $2 billion mark? It’s still an achievable goal, but a lot will depend on the durability of Deadpool and on the release in the next few weeks of big guns such as Solo: A Star Wars Story and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
Superheroes dominated the box office landscape, but there was also room for Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen as four friends reading Fifty Shades of Grey and fantasizing about it in Book Club. Directed by Bill Holderman, the Paramount comedy attracted an audience 80% female and 60% over 50. And Jane Fonda showed no fear of going head-to-head against Deadpool, defying Ryan Reynolds with this tweet: “You’re not the only one that kills in a tight little red outfit. We’ll show you ours if you show us yours!”
Like Book Club, also Show Dogs earned an A- CinemaScore, but the family title was good for just a $6 million debut. A new opening at the specialty box office was Paul Schrader’s First Reformed, with Ethan Hawke performing as a pastor along with Amanda Seyfried. It landed in just four locations, good for an amount slightly above $100,000 and a per screen average of $25,000. The per screen average winner was however a seminal film released 50 years ago: Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, in a special edition curated and remastered by Christopher Nolan. It grossed $200,000, good for a per-screen average of $50,000.