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Weekend Predictions: Deadpool Looking for Dead Presidents

February 11th, 2016


It's Valentine's Day weekend and Presidents Day long weekend, so the box office should be very robust, at least compared to last weekend. Deadpool has the best reviews and the best buzz and should have no trouble earning first place at the box office. Zoolander 2 is earning weak reviews, but nostalgia could help during its opening weekend. Finally there's How to be Single, which is a Romantic Comedy. Any romantic film should do well on Valentine's Day, even one earning mixed reviews. This weekend last year, Fifty Shades of Grey came out, which is a movie my mind keeps trying to forget happened. It earned just over $85 million during its opening weekend, but less than that during the rest of its run. Deadpool won't open as fast, but it very likely won't collapse next weekend either. 2016 will lose in the year-over-year comparison in the short run, but perhaps by Monday, the tide will turn.

Deadpool could become the biggest R-rated Super Hero Comic Book movie ever made. Right now the current record holder is Watchmen, which earned $107.51 million domestically. If Deadpool doesn't at least crack $100 million domestically, I would be shocked. Even if the buzz turns out to be just Internet Buzz, it should still crack $100 million. If the buzz has gone mainstream, and the advertising budget suggests it has, then it could have a shot at $200 million domestically. I've seen at least one prediction that puts the film's box office at close to $100 million over the next four days. I would love that, but that's way too optimistic for me. I'm going with an opening weekend box office of $75 million, over four days, which will be more than the rest of the top five combined.

Zoolander 2 could be next, but it depends on if there is enough nostalgia to overcome the weak reviews. There is some precedent for a delayed comedy sequel doing well. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues topped the original both in terms of raw dollars and to a much lesser extent, ticket sales. However, Zoolander is older than Anchorman was and it was a much smaller hit at the box office. The cumulative ticket price inflation over the past 15 years is roughly 50%. Additionally, this is a long weekend while Zoolander didn't get that boost. Because of that, I would say Zoolander 2 needs to open with $27 million over the four-day weekend to keep pace with its predecessor. I don't think that's going to happen. $24 million seems more likely. That's still not a bad start for a February release.

Kung Fu Panda 3 earned $21.24 million last weekend and could make the same this weekend, albeit over four days instead of three. While Valentine's Day is considered a romantic holiday, it is also a day when families go out and watch a movie, this is a perfect film for that. Add in the holiday on Monday and it could earn just over or just under $21 million over the next four days. I'm going to be a little cautious and predict the smaller amount.

How to be Single is a romantic comedy and while this genre rarely scores breakout successes, they tend to become midlevel hits. Also, this film has a near perfect release date for a romantic film, as its both a long weekend and a Valentine's Day weekend. Unfortunately, the reviews are mixed, so that won't help the box office numbers. It is also the smallest of the three new wide releases this week and it could get lost in the crowd as a result. Maybe it will fight for second place with a four-day opening in the low $20 million range, but I think an opening in the high teens is more likely. Let's go with $18 million.

There should be a relatively close three-way race for fifth pace between Hail, Caesar!, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and The Revenant. Look for the three films to earn just over $7 million, $7 million, and just under $7 million respectively.

- Deadpool Comparisons
- Zoolander 2 Comparisons
- How to be Single Comparisons

Filed under: Weekend Preview, Deadpool, Zoolander 2, Kung Fu Panda 3, Star Wars Ep. VII: The Force Awakens, How to be Single, The Revenant, Hail, Caesar!