Deadpool and the biggest R-rated openings ever | EW.com
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Deadpool tops the biggest R-rated box office
debuts ever

( Joe Lederer/2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. )

The Merc with a Mouth demolished box office records this weekend, as Deadpool earned an estimated $135 million over three days to become the biggest R-rated opening of all time. Over the four-day President’s Day weekend, it’s expected to hit $150 million, speeding past Fox’s initial predictions of $65 million, and it’s already earned more than double its $58 million production budget. 

Deadpool’s big debut means that it’s officially the first R-rated movie to open above $100 million, and it blows the previous record holder, The Matrix Reloaded, out of the water: The Keanu Reeves-starring sequel only opened to $91.8 million in 2003. (Even if you adjust for inflation, The Matrix Reloaded only comes in at about $132 million.) 

$135 million is especially impressive considering that Deadpool’s a bit of an anomaly as an R-rated superhero movie. While there have been other R-rated superhero films in the past, they’ve never reached Deadpool’s height, and films like Watchmen and Blade II only opened to $55.2 million and $32.5 million, respectively. 300 is only the other comic book adaptation to crack the top 10, and it only opened to $70.9 million. 

And Deadpool isn’t just a huge debut for an R-rated superhero flick; it’s big for any superhero movie, period. Deadpool currently sits as the seventh-biggest superhero debut in box office history, besting PG-13-rated films like Iron Man 2 ($128.1 million), Man of Steel ($116.6 million), Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($95 million), and Guardians of the Galaxy ($94.3 million).

It remains to be seen whether Deadpool will usher in a brave new world of foul-mouthed superheroes with a penchant for nudity and graphic violence. It does, however, answer the question of whether an R-rated hero can actually become a box office hit, and although Fox hasn’t officially announced a sequel, the screenwriters told EW that it’s unofficially in the works.

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Here’s how Deadpool stacks up against the top 10 biggest R-rated openings in box office history.

1. Deadpool

 

Opening weekend: $135 million
Release date: Feb. 12, 2016

2. The Matrix Reloaded

 

Opening weekend: $91.8 million
Release date: May, 15, 2003

3. American Sniper

 

Opening weekend: $89.3 million
Release date: January 16, 2015

4. The Hangover Part II

Opening weekend: $85.9 million
Release date: May 26, 2011

5. Fifty Shades of Grey

 

Opening weekend: $85.2 million
Release date: Feb. 13, 2015

6. The Passion of the Christ

 

Opening weekend: $83.8 million
Release date: Feb. 25, 2004

7. 300

 

Opening weekend: $70.9 million
Release date: March 9, 2007

8. Straight Outta Compton

Opening weekend: $60.2 million
Release date: Aug. 14, 2015

9. Hannibal

 

Opening weekend: $58 million
Release date: February 9, 2001

10. 22 Jump Street

 

Opening weekend: $57.1 million
Release date: June 13, 2014