Deadpool Box Office Hits!

Always one for violence, Deadpool slaughtered at the box office this weekend. Released Feb. 10 the movie, which stars Ryan Reynolds as the sarcastic, titular superhero, set a new record for February movie debuts after earning an estimated $47.5 million in ticket sales. By the end of Presidents' Day weekend, it had generated $150 million, according to Variety. Related: Disney Releases 34-Second Teaser of Star Wars: Episode VIII The opening weekend slayed a number of records, including biggest R-rated opening weekend, biggest 20th Century Fox debut, biggest opening weekend for Ryan Reynolds, biggest R-rated comic book superhero movie ever and biggest X-Men debut ever, among others. Alongside the appeal of the antihero’s raunchy humor, uncanny healing abilities and strength, critics are crediting the movie’s unconventional marketing strategies for its success. At one point, Deadpool had a Tinder profile. And Reynold’s did more than his part when it came to promoting the film by tweeting in character and Instagramming teasers of the film, Wired reports. Even billboards were invigorated by the Deadpool marketing team, featuring nonsensical emojis in lieu of traditional movie star shots.

"Deadpool is wildly creative and new, and that’s what audiences want," said Fox domestic distribution chief Chris Aronson. "I think a lot of credit goes to [Fox CEO] Jim Gianopulos for having the courage to make this movie." The movie replete with foul language, nudity, sex and graphic violence succeeded in getting a heavy turnout among younger males, an elusive demo in recent years. At least 62 percent of ticket buyers were male, while a hefty 47 percent of ticket buyers were under the age of 25. The studio made the well-reviewed Deadpool with Marvel Enterprises via its licensing deal for the X-Men universe of characters, and, along with Reynolds, spent months aggressively marketing the movie. Sometimes, the campaign was as irreverent and out there as the film itself, but the studio was also savvy in marketing the film as a broad offering in line with other superhero movies, which draw families. Deadpool is playing in 3,558 theaters, including Imax locations. The tongue-in-cheek movie, which often pokes fun of the superhero genre, follows Wade Wilson (aka Deadpool), a witty mercenary nicknamed the Merc With the Mouth who is bestowed with special healing powers after undergoing an experimental treatment for cancer. But he vows to get revenge after he's quickly betrayed, and horribly disfigured, separating him from his girlfriend (Morena Baccarin). The actor first appeared as the character in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Reynolds' film received an A CinemaScore from all age groups. And 92 percent said they would recommend it to a friend, while 76 percent checked off the excellent box, on par with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, according to ComScore's PostTrak exit polling service. Other characters from the X-Men comic book universe who appear in the film include Colossus (Sefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand).
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