The weekend of May 18 will see some explosive sequel-versus-sequel action as 21st Century Fox Inc.'s "Deadpool 2" is expected to challenge the box office dominance of Walt Disney Co.-Marvel's "Avengers: Infinity War."
Source: 20th Century Fox
"Deadpool 2" is expected to surpass the $100-million mark for its opening weekend, with projections falling short of the record $257.7 million domestic opening of "Infinity War" in April but ahead of the latter film's expected performance for the May 18 weekend.
BoxOffice.com predicted a $133 million domestic opening for the new film, on the low end of Deadline Hollywood's range of $130 million to $150 million, which was echoed by Variety. Worldwide, Deadline expects the film could go as high as $350 million over the May 18 weekend, more than three times its $110 million production costs. In comparison, reports suggest "Infinity War" cost between $300 million and $400 million.
An opening in the $130 million range would be comparable to the first "Deadpool," which opened to $132.5 million in February 2016 and ended its theatrical run with a profit margin of about 64% after raking in total revenue of $956.3 million. "Deadpool" cost $58 million for its production and $40.9 million for domestic print and ads, a relative bargain when compared to some other superhero films. Looking at a comparison group that included the original "Deadpool" as well as Fox-produced super sequels such as "Logan" and "Kingsman: The Golden Circle," the average production cost was $129.4 million and the average advertising cost was $57.3 million, according to data compiled by Kagan, a media research group inside S&P Global Market Intelligence.
Two other films will open over the May 18 weekend, both with expectations well below the roughly $30 million forecasters are predicting for "Infinity War" in its fourth weekend. Romantic comedy "Book Club" and talking-animal comedy "Show Dogs" both are expected to debut near or below the $10 million mark. Most are betting on "Book Club" as having the best chance of hitting eight figures.
Starring Diane Keaton, "Book Club" is geared toward older audiences. Other romantic comedies targeting a similar audience, such as "Something's Gotta Give," "It's Complicated" and "Hope Springs" had an average opening of $14.7 million, higher than expectations for "Book Club," though the three previously mentioned all turned a profit. "Hope Springs" which had the smallest opening weekend, ended with a profit margin of about 20% after generating total revenue of $175.2 million. "Book Club" will look to avoid the fate of "The Big Wedding," which opened to $7.6 million and exited theaters on to a $38.3 million loss.
"Book Club" was running a 58% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes the morning of its wide release.
Turning to comparisons for "Show Dogs," other films about anthropomorphic animals like "Beverly Hills Chihuahua" and "G-Force" included several profitable films. At the high end, "Chihuahua" opened to $29.3 million and exited theaters with $130.6 million in net profit. Superhero canine film "Underdog" opened to $11.6 million and ended with net profits of $6.4 million, and guinea pig-based comedy G-Force ended profitably despite its $153.0 million production budget, which ran several times higher than others in the group. However, "Show Dogs" is projected to open lower than any of the comparisons in the group.
"Show Dogs" was at 28% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes the morning of its wide release.