Marvel's most off the wall character finally gets his origin story told in the newest addition to the Marvel cinematic universe. Wade Wilson a former Special Forces Operative undergoes an experimental treatment to cure his multiple cancers. The experiment leaves Wade with enhanced healing abilities and a dysfunctional personality, leading him to become the anti-hero Deadpool: the "merc with a mouth". Armed with his enhanced abilities, training, and dark sense of humor, Deadpool sets out to get revenge on the people who turned him into the freak he's become while at the same time saving his girlfriend.
- Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, T.J. Miller, Gina Carano
- 20th Century Fox
- Tim Miller
Deadpool was one of the most commercially successful films of 2016, and it's been piling up lots of award nominations so far this year, too. But will it be able to pull in a nomination for the biggest, most serious movie award around? We'll know for sure in a little over a week.
Deadpool was the sixth-highest-grossing movie of 2016, taking in about $363 million domestically. It's also been a critical hit, and it's being recognized by nearly every nominating organization during this awards season. It was nominated for the Golden Globes' biggest award (which it lost to La La Land), and it received a top nomination from the Producers Guild of America this week. It's also been nominated for major awards from the Writers Guild of America and the Directors Guild of America.
All of these prestigious nominations increase the possibility that Deadpool could nail a Best Picture Oscar nomination from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. That would be a huge milestone, not just because no superhero has ever been nominated for Best Picture before, but because the movie's irreverent tone sets it apart from the other more serious contenders.
It would be an unconventional choice for Best Picture, to be sure, but Deadpool's recognition from all of Hollywood's major professional organizations will no doubt encourage many Academy Members to vote outside the box.
Oscar nominations will be announced by the Academy on January 24.
It's no surprise that through the first quarter of 2016, the top-grossing films have been purely fantasy movies, with not a single real-world story among the five biggest films of the year in terms of U.S. domestic gross earnings. It's a little more suprising, however, that those top films offer just two specific kinds of fantasy entertainment.
Two of the top five films are superhero films. The year's top film to date is Deadpool, with a domestic gross of $360 million, and not all that far behind in second place is Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice with $311 million. Superhero stories continue to be the strongest of American films, and one or both of those two films is likely to be displaced at the top next month by the highly anticipated Captain America: Civil War.
The rest of the top five is filled with films with a particular kind of lead characters: talking animals. Second through fifth place in the top five go to computer-animated films in which talking non-human characters are in the spotlight: Zootopia in second place with $307 million Kung Fu Panda 3 in fourth place with $141 million, and The Jungle Book in fifth place with $103 million. The Jungle Book is set to improve its standing, however, since it achieved fifth place with just its opening weekend gross.
It's only been a few months since Deadpool became the surprise blockbuster of 2016, and already the film has seen a sequel go into development and lose its director. This week, the news broke that, after the departure of the original film's director from the sequel, the score composer is leaving, too. It's not great news for a project that hopes to be the launch of a mega-lucrative superhero franchise.
The biggest blow to Deadpool 2 came in October with the departure of director Tim Miller because of his "creative differences" with producer and star Ryan Reynolds. There's been no trustworthy, official reason given for Miller's exit, but rumors have suggested that the disagreement was about the movie's budget, its style, or its casting decisions. In any case, it seems that Reynolds and Miller had different visions for the project, and in the end, Reynolds' version won.
This week it became apparent that Miller's departure would have some fall out. Composer Tom Holkenborg, who works under the pseudonym Junkie XL, said that working on a sequel "without Tim at the helm doesn't sit right with me," and he walked away from the project.
While Miller's departure will very likely delay the projected January 2018 release of Deadpool 2, fans of the original movie should take heart in the fact that Reynolds and original writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese are still on board. That means, no doubt, that the sequel will still have plenty of crass humor and winking, fourth-wall-disrupting references to itself. Holkenborg's departure could mean that the soundtrack will rely more on campy pop music than on original music.
We already knew that a Deadpool sequel was in the works, but that knowledge had come from unofficial sources. This week, Fox announced officially that it will definitely release a sequel to one of the biggest hits of 2016 so far. Although the announcement came as no surprise at all, it's always nice to get official confirmation of rumors you hope are true.
Even better is the news that the original film's whole creative team is coming back for the sequel. That includes star Ryan Reynolds and director Tim Miller, and it also includes screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. No production start date or release date for the sequel have been announced yet.
There's also a rumor that Miller and producer Simon Kinberg want to bring Spider-Man, another Marvel character, on board for the sequel. While studio rights-wrangling will make that a difficult feat to pull off, Miller and Kinberg are reportedlyworking on it.
Released in February, Deadpool is currently the highest-grossing film domestically of 2016, and it's the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time. Both Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Zootopia have earned more money worldwide, and Deadpool is likely to lose its domestic title once the summer blockbusters hit later in the year, but it will certainly remain one of the biggest success stories of 2016.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice drew plenty of criticism from professional reviewers, but the complaints of one well-known comic-book fan put the spotlight on one of the film's biggest alleged shortcomings: its lack of humor. Among filmmaker Kevin Smith's criticisms of Batman v Superman was that there was "nothing funny going on in that world whatsoever" and that the somber tone robbed the film of "heart."
Contemporary superhero movie fans do seem to love to laugh. Recent hits such as Guardians of the Galaxy and Deadpool have refused to take themselves seriously, and The Avengers and other films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe rely heavily on wisecracking characters and the occasional sight gag.
But is Smith right that a comic-book movie has to be funny to capture the imagination of audiences? It's worth noting that two of the top ten most successful superhero movies of all time, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, are virtually without humor, and their moody tone was arguably a key to their success. It's possible that staying true to certain comic-book characters - something that Smith claims is essential for a superhero film to do - might require playing things straight. Neither Batman nor Superman, after all, is historically known for his ironic or irreverent sense of humor.
Smith's comments, though, suggest that some filmmakers think they've discovered the secret to superhero success, and that's likely to be reflected in the plethora of upcoming comic-book movies. Given the success of funny superheroes - and, in the case of Deadpool, profanely funny ones - we're probably going to see a lot more costume-clad comedians as studios strive to duplicate the success of past hits.
Last week at this time, Ryan Reynolds and the creative team behind Deadpool were not the hottest properties in Hollywood, but times have changed. That's why news this week that Reynolds and Deadpool writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese have signed up to make a new sci-fi thriller is more than a minor event.
Reynolds will star in the yet-unnamed thriller about Martian aliens, and the project will be directed by Daniel Espinosa, who previously directed Reynolds in Safehouse. The film will be written by Wernick and Reese, who have previously written Zombieland and G.I. Joe: Retaliation, and it will also star Rebecca Ferguson, who recently starred in Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation.
The opening of Deadpool last weekend was surprisingly successful. The film earned $150 million over the long holiday weekend, and it set new records for films released in February, and for R-rated films in general. The film's success is redemption for Reynolds, whose previous turn as a superhero in Green Lantern was a much-ridiculed flop. A sequel to Deadpool written by Wernick and Reese has already been given the go-ahead by Fox, and the studio reportedly wants director Tim Miller and Reynolds to return for the sequel, as well.
Deadpool is still the top movie of 2016, as it easily sold more tickets that any other movie in theaters this weekend. Two of the weekend's three new wide releases did respectable business, however, so the talk of the weekend wasn't all about the R-rated comic book movie.
Deadpool raked in another $55 million over the weekend, bringing its two-week domestic total earnings to $235 million. This weekend's take was down nearly 60 percent from the record-breaking haul the movie managed on its opening weekend, but it was still a strong performer.
Of the three new movies of the week, the faith-based historical drama Risen did the best, earning $11.8 million. The movie had a modest production budget, so that was not a bad number. It wasn't enough to take second place in the box office competition, though. That honor went to Kung Fu Panda 3, which earned $12.5 million in its fourth weekend of release.
The Witch came in a solid fourth place with $8.7 million. That's an especially impressive number given that its distributor spent very little money on marketing. The week's final new release, the Jesse Owens biopic Race, managed to grab sixth place behind last week's How to Be Single.
Everyone expected Deadpool to be the top movie over the Presidents Day weekend, but no one expected the R-rated superhero movie to shatter records. But that's just what it did, and it proved that a comic book movie aimed directly at adults can still attract big audiences to theaters.
Deadpool's performance was nowhere near predictions, which had the film earning about $70 million for the weekend. Instead, it pulled in $135 million by the end of Sunday and will likely take in $150 or more by the time the Presidents Day holiday is over. That not only doubles the predictions, but it's also almost twice the movie's relatively small $58 million production budget.
The week's other two movies came in third and fourth place. Dakota Johnson's How to Be Single took in $18.75 million, which was in line with expectation's, and Ben Stiller's Zoolander 2 was close behind with $15.7 million. Holdover Kung Fu Panda 3 had a solid third weekend and grabbed second place with earnings of $19.7 million.
Deadpool's opening weekend ever for a February release and the biggest opening for an R-rated film. It's also the biggest opening of star Ryan Reynold's career and the biggest for the film's director, Tim Miller.
Last week's new movies struggled to make a mark at the box office, but the new entries in the coming weekend's competition have some buzz about them that could make the weekend a little more interesting than the last. The new films all target young adult audiences, however, leaving Kung Fu Panda 3 as the only family show in town for another week.
The most-talked-about of the new wide releases is Deadpool, another installment in the pantheon of films devoted to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this one starring Ryan Reynolds as a mercenary antihero. Deadpool is darkly irreverent, and audiences have, in the past, taken to superhero movies with a bit of an edge, a la Guardians of the Galaxy. Deadpool is so dark and profane, though, that it carries an R rating, and it won't draw the family crowds that some other Marvel films have attracted. Reynold's ability to play an appealing superhero are also uncertain, given his unsuccessful turn as Green Lantern in 2011.
Also new this week is Zoolander 2, a sequel to the 2001 film about fashion models/secret agents played by Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson. This one is getting terrible reviews ahead of its release, but fans of broad comedy are usually not too concerned with what the critics think.
The week's final new wide release is How to Be Single, a romantic comedy about a young woman, played by Dakota Johnson, on her own in the big city. The film also stars Rebel Wilson and Alison Brie and will be a female-centric alternative to the more fanboy-friendly Deadpool.