'Deadpool 2' Gins Up $301 Million in Global Ticket Sales

Posted May 20, 2018 1:35 p.m. EDT
Updated May 20, 2018 5:29 p.m. EDT

LOS ANGELES — Remember a couple summers ago when people were predicting imminent superhero fatigue? Whoops.

The return of Wade Wilson, that rascally, R-rated mercenary in red, gave 20th Century Fox its biggest opening weekend in two years — since he first sashayed into pop-culture superstardom in “Deadpool.” The well-reviewed sequel arrived to roughly $125 million in ticket sales at North American theaters, according to comScore, which compiles box office data. It took in an additional $176 million overseas.

“Deadpool 2,” starring Ryan Reynolds, cost $110 million to make, or nearly double the price of the first one, which took in $132.4 million over its first three days in theaters and went on to collect $783.1 million worldwide. Once again, Fox mounted a madcap marketing campaign that approached performance art, complete with a ballet-infused Celine Dion video.

Second place for the weekend went to — you guessed it — a collection of superheroes. “Avengers: Infinity War” (Disney) generated about $28.7 million in ticket sales, for a four-week domestic total of $595 million ($1.8 billion worldwide). More spandex is on the way, including “The Incredibles 2” from Pixar on June 12 and Marvel’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp” on July 6.

In a bit of successful counterprogramming, “Book Club” (Paramount) arrived in third place, collecting about $12.5 million. A PG-13 comedy starring Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Diane Keaton and Mary Steenburgen, “Book Club” was independently financed by Endeavor Content and June Pictures, the company behind “The Florida Project.” Paramount bought certain distribution rights for about $10 million.

Paramount said that 60 percent of the audience was over 50 years old. Fonda sought to stir interest in the days leading up to release with a sassy Twitter message to Reynolds. “You’re not the only one that kills in a tight little red outfit,” she wrote. “We’ll show you ours if you show us yours.”