Deadpool & Wolverine Box Office Tracking for Record $160M-$165M Debut 5

Three weeks out, Deadpool & Wolverine‘s claws are looking plenty sharp.

The Marvel Studios movie — the third outing in the celebrated superhero franchise that’s the brainchild of star Ryan Reynolds — is tracking to open to at least $160 million to $165 million domestically over the July 26-28 weekend, with plenty of upside. That would be the best start of the year to date, as well as the biggest launch ever for an R-rated title. It would also be a needed boost for the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the superhero genre in general.

Shawn Levy directed Deadpool & Wolverine, which stars Reynolds as the fun-loving, foul-mouthed antihero Deadpool/Wade Wilson and Hugh Jackman as the introverted, intense Wolverine/Logan. (Wolverine was the most popular character in the X-Men universe of films, and was last seen in the standalone movie Logan in 2017.) All three are fast friends off-screen, and are presently on a global tour for Deadpool 3.

The first Deadpool made history when opening to $133.7 million domestically in February 2016, the biggest start ever for an R-rated title — a record it still holds — and proving that a superhero pic could draw big crowds despite the restrictive rating. A little more than two years later, Deadpool 2 debuted to $125.5 million.

Much has changed in the time since. Namely, Kevin Feige‘s Marvel took over the Deadpool franchise when Marvel parent company Disney swallowed up 20th Century Fox, which had rights to the X-Men universe of characters, as part of the larger Disney-Fox merger.

Deadpool & Wolverine is the first R-rated movie ever released by Disney, Marvel or otherwise. Disney CEO chief Bob Iger indicated from the get-go when the merger closed that the franchise wasn’t in danger of losing its R-rated status.

Levy and Reynolds, who co-wrote the script with veteran Deadpool scribes Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese, along with writer Zeb Wells, also faced the challenge of having to shut down production during last year’s labor strikes. Production resumed in November when the SAG-AFTRA walkout was settled, and they were able to meet their summer release date.

The box office hasn’t always been kind as of late when it comes to superhero fare. The Marvels, the last movie released by Marvel, marked a moment of reckoning for Feige and his team when opening to $46 million in November 2023. Deadpool & Wolverine looks to be the balm Feige needed, as well as the second major box office win for Disney’s film empire after Inside Out 2, which has cleared the $1 billion mark after opening to $154 million domestically, the biggest start of the year to date.

More to come.

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