This weekend, Ryan Reynolds is the Merc With the Money.
The actor’s wisecracking superhero sequel Deadpool 2 is on track to open with an estimated $125 million in ticket sales from 4,349 theaters in the U.S. and Canada, unseating three-time box office champ Avengers: Infinity War and scoring the second-highest debut ever for an R-rated movie.
Though that’s no small feat, Deadpool 2 will fall short of industry projections, which had it in the $130 million to $150 million range, and the original Deadpool, which bowed with $132.4 million in February 2016 (thus setting the R-rated opening record). Overseas, the sequel will add about $176.3 million this weekend, for a worldwide total of about $301.3 million.
Directed by David Leitch, from a script by Reynolds, Rhett Reese, and Paul Wernick, Deadpool 2 finds the titular antihero (played by Reynolds) protecting a young mutant from a time-traveling tough guy named Cable (Josh Brolin), while gleefully skewering Hollywood’s obsession with superheroes. The cast also includes Julian Dennison, Morena Baccarin, Zazie Beetz, T.J. Miller, and Brianna Hildebrand, plus a host of celebrity cameos.
The Fox film, which cost about $110 million to make, received generally positive reviews from critics (on par with the first film), and audiences gave it an A CinemaScore, suggesting good word-of-mouth prospects.
Disney’s rival Marvel movie Avengers: Infinity War drops down to second place this weekend, grossing a still-solid $28.7 million in its fourth frame and bringing its domestic total to $595 million. The film will add about $84.4 million overseas, pushing its worldwide total north of $1.8 billion.
The weekend’s other new wide releases are Paramount’s rom-com Book Club and Open Road’s family-friendly comedy Show Dogs. The former film will take in about $12.5 million, good for the No. 3 spot, while the latter will gross about $6 million, landing in sixth place.
Directed by Bill Holderman, Book Club stars Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen as four friends whose love lives are upended when they decide to read the guilty pleasure Fifty Shades of Grey.
Show Dogs, meanwhile, centers on a police dog (voiced by Chris “Ludacris” Bridges) who goes undercover at a dog show with his human partner (Will Arnett) to stop an animal smuggling ring. Raja Gosnell directed.
Both movies garnered lackluster reviews, though audiences gave them solid A-minus CinemaScores.
Rounding out the top five are the Melissa McCarthy comedy Life of the Party, with about $7.7 million, and the Gabrielle Union thriller Breaking In, with about $6.5 million.
According to ComScore, overall box office is up 6.3 percent year-to-date. Check out the May 18-20 figures below.
1. Deadpool 2 — $125 million
2. Avengers: Infinity War — $28.7 million
3. Book Club — $12.5 million
4. Life of the Party — $7.7 million
5. Breaking In — $6.5 million
6. Show Dogs — $6 million
7. Overboard — $4.7 million
8. A Quiet Place — $4 million
9. Rampage — $1.5 million
10. I Feel Pretty — $1.2 million