Viral marketing campaign pays off for Deadpool as film takes nearly $15m in first weekend

The latest Marvel Comics superhero to hit the big screens, Deadpool, has benefitted from a successful below and above the line marketing campaign to pull in almost $15m in its opening weekend – more than the rest of the top 20 films combined.

Deadpool stars Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson, an everyday man subjected to an experiment that leaves him with new abilities, who hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life, took $14.943m on 396 screens.

By comparison, Zoolander 2, starring Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson as hapless male models, could muster just $2.736m on its first full weekend of launch on 358 screens to claim second spot, with total takings so far of $3.928m.

Deadpool has gained momentum in recent months with a series of marketing stunts including an Australia Day video and emoji billboard. It also smashed the ‘R’ rating record over the weekend in the US, taking US$135m.

Historical drama, Brooklyn, was the third new entry into the top 10 with $1.044m on 155 screens, beating out former chart toppers Dirty Grandpa – which managed $801,247 on 222 screens –  and The Revenant, which took $496,855 on 255 screens.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens now looks set to fall short of Avatar’s $105m takings record, creeping to $92.542m after taking $420,080 on the weekend.

Title (Distributor) Weekend B/O Screens Total B/O
Deadpool (Fox) $14,943,402 396 $14,943,402
Zoolander 2 (Paramount) $2,736,333 358 $3,928,105
Brooklyn (Transmission) $1,044,971 155 $1,390,455
Dirty Grandpa (Eone) $801,247 222 $5,865,495
The Revenant (Fox) $496,855 255 $18,342,113
Spotlight (Eone) $479,021 151 $2,830,731
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Disney) $420,085 141 $92,542,919
The Big Short (Paramount) $310,540 129 $6,572,706
The Choice (Roadshow) $299,930 204 $1,120,325
Sisters (Universal) $268,196 0 $11,754,734
The Hateful Eight (Roadshow) $240,565 195 $7,397,710
The 5th Wave (Sony) $187,313 141 $7,319,446
Goosebumps (Roadshow) $167,891 179 $9,454,463
The Danish Girl (Universal) $141,758 108 $2,419,294
Room (Roadshow) $105,667 64 $981,046
Carol (Transmission) $104,913 92 $2,799,772
From Vegas To Macau 3 (Magnum) $98,190 16 $359,474
Steve Jobs (Universal) $98,007 59 $606,260
Joy (Fox) $73,653 125 $8,194,805
Daddy's Home (Paramount) $70,714 0 $21,597,673


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