The Merc with the Mouth is finally making his debut as a leading man, and Ryan Reynold’s Deadpool is set to dominate the President’s Day box office.
The R-rated superhero flick is headed for a four-day opening of at least $60 million, well above the projected debuts of Zoolander 2 and How To Be Single. With President’s Day on Monday and Valentine’s Day falling on Sunday, it should be a busy weekend in theaters, even if it doesn’t reach last year’s heights: In 2015, Fifty Shades of Grey set a President’s Day box-office record, opening to $93 million over four days.
Here’s what this weekend’s box office race might look like. (All numbers are for the four-day weekend.)
1. Deadpool — $65 million
Opening in 3,558 theaters, Deadpool should rake in at least $60 to $65 million over four days, but some are saying it could easily reach $70 million. If it makes more than $63 million, it’ll surpass the 2010 rom-com Valentine’s Day to become the second-highest President’s Day weekend opening of all time. With MovieTickets.com and Fandango both reporting big advanced sales, Deadpool has earned excellent reviews (an 81 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes) and has a reported budget of $58 million.
2. Zoolander 2 — $25 million
Fifteen years after Derek and Hansel made their big-screen debut, the two really, really ridiculously good-looking models are back. The original Zoolander failed to make much of a dent in the 2001 box office, debuting to $15.5 million and going on to gross $45.2 million domestically, but it became a cult hit on DVD. The 2016 installment — which has a budget of about $50 million — has Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, and Will Ferrell reprising their roles, joined by Penelope Cruz and Kristen Wiig. Reviews have been pretty mediocre, with a 29 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but Zoolander 2 should perform similarly to Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, another sequel to a cult comedy classic. Anchorman 2 premiered to $26.2 million in 2013, and Zoolander 2 is expected to land somewhere in the mid-20s for the long weekend, opening in 3,394 theaters.
3. How To Be Single — $22 million
Dakota Johnson set a President’s Day box office record last year with Fifty Shades of Grey, and now, she’s starring opposite Rebel Wilson in the R-rated comedy How To Be Single. Reviews are mixed, with a 47 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. How To Be Single’s budget is upwards of $30 million, and it should debut in the low-20s in 3,343 theaters.
4. Kung Fu Panda 3 — $20 million
Kung Fu Panda 3 has pulled in more than $73.2 million domestically since debuting two weeks ago, and it should hold up well again this weekend, especially as one of the few family-friendly options in theaters right now. Expect to add another $20 million or so to its total over the four-day weekend.
5. Hail, Caesar! — $7 million
The fifth-place spot is a bit of a toss-up, with movies like The Revenant and Star Wars: The Force Awakens all expected to land somewhere in the mid-single digits over four days. Out of last weekend’s new releases, however, Hail, Caesar! fared the best, coming in second place overall with $11.4 million. Its domestic total through Wednesday is at $14.1 million. Over President’s Day weekend, the Coen brothers’ comedy is expected to make about $7 million.