Ryan Reynolds has killed off the competition at the North American box office after debuting Deadpool at number one with a huge $135 million haul.
The R-rated Marvel blockbuster, starring Reynolds as the titular homicidal mercenary, aka Wade Wilson, scored $12.7 million during a Thursday night run of screenings – the largest gross for February previews ever, beating out last year’s Fifty Shades of Grey and The Hangover sequel.
It has continued to smash February release records with its opening weekend gross, easily surpassing the $85.2 million Fifty Shades of Grey banked in 2015, while Deadpool now also boasts the title of biggest R-rated opening in North American history, crushing The Matrix Reloaded‘s $91.8 million back in 2003.
The action thriller, which is directed by Tim Miller, is projected to boost its debut to $150 million (£103.4 million) by the end of the four-day Presidents’ Day holiday weekend.
Deadpool has also taken over the international box office chart, taking an estimated $125 million outside the U.S. and Canada for a global total of $260 million.
Its big debut is good news for bosses at studio 20th Century Fox, who have already started work on a sequel, after Reynolds struggled for more than six years to get the movie made following his initial appearance as Deadpool in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
Meanwhile, back in the North American countdown, last week’s number one, Kung Fu Panda 3, is a distant second with $19.7 million, while Rebel Wilson’s new comedy How to Be Single is new at three with $18.8 million.
Ben Stiller’s Zoolander 2 enters at a disappointing fourth place, with The Revenant rounding out the new top five at five.