Fox’s R-rated, fourth wall-breaking, superhero spoof/saga Deadpool easily took the box office crown for the third weekend in row, earning an estimated $31.5 million to bring its domestic total to $285.6 million, sending the $140 million sword and sandal epic Gods of Egypt scurrying back to its giant stone tomb.  Despite the low-power openings of Gods of Egypt, the inspirational sports drama Eddie the Eagle, and the gritty crime epic Triple 9, the box office was up a modest 5% over the same weekend last year, when the Will Smith caper comedy Focus debuted with $18.7 million.

Deadpool, which has successfully redeemed the superhero cred of star Ryan Reynolds, dropped just 44% in its third frame as it became the third highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time (not adjusted for inflation), trailing only American Sniper and The Passion of the Christ.  The Merc with a Mouth movie is poised to soar past Man of Steel ($291 million), Iron Man ($318.4 million), Iron Man 2 ($312.4 million), and Guardians of the Galaxy ($333 million) as Deadpool, which is now at #13 on the list of comic book adaptations, is a certain a lock to move into the top ten over the next few weeks.

Deadpool is also doing exceptionally well overseas where it has already pulled it $324.2 million for a global cumulative of $610 million.  It is hard to imagine that Deadpool won’t eventually eclipse the $742 worldwide total of The Matrix Reloaded and become the #1 R-rated film of all time (not adjusted for inflation).  With a production cost of just $58 million, Deadpool is by far the cheapest of this year’s wave of superhero films—and it has set a very high bar for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Captain America: Civil War to vault over.

Directed by Alex Proyas, Gods of Egypt is an action-packed, over-the-top fantasy that was intended to be the first film in a new fantasy film franchise.  A lowly 13% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes and poor-to-middling “B-“ CinemaScore from opening weekend audiences indicate that this $140 million epic is in deep trouble.  Lionsgate, which sold off distribution rights around the globe, only has about $10 million of production exposure, but that doesn’t count the $35-50 million in promotional expenses, so even with its limited exposure, Lionsgate will likely lose on this one.

Opening Gods of Egypt, which received criticism for its cast of white actors led by Gerard Butler playing Egyptians, on the same weekend as an Oscar Ceremony that has been criticized for a lack of diversity among its nominees, may not have been the best marketing strategy, but the box office problems of Gods of Egypt may stem more from Hollywood’s everlasting infatuation with the sword and sandal genre, regardless of how well the “robes and greased skin” films fit the current zeitgeist, rather than the film’s lack of a diverse cast, though a recent UCLA study did find that blockbusters with more diverse actors in key roles performed better.

Weekend Box Office (Studio Estimates): February 26-28, 2016


Weekend Gross



Total Gross










Gods of Egypt







Kung Fu Panda 3














Eddie the Eagle







Triple 9







How to Be Single







The Witch














The Revenant







Dreamworks’ Kung Fu Panda 3 slipped just 28.1% as it fell to #3, bringing in $9 million to run its 5 weekend total to $128 million, while the religiously-themed Risen dropped just 40% to earn $7 million and finish at #4.

Fifth place went to the inspirational sports drama Eddie the Eagle, which debuted with $6.3 million.  The $23 million production might have been better off had it opened closer to the Olympics, but it did earn a solid “A” CinemaScore from opening weekend audiences, which were evenly split between men and women and older (75% over 25).

The critics like the crime thriller Triple 9 a lot more than Gods of Egypt, giving the cop heist drama a 54% positive rating, but audiences, which bestowed a “B-“ on Gods, gave Triple 9 an even lousier “C+,” which does not bode well for the film’s box office prospects.

Alexander Inarritu’s The Revenant earned $3.8 million, which was good enough for the tenth spot on the chart.  More importantly it gave the film a hefty $170.3 million domestic cumulative, which should not hurt the film’s Oscar chance one bit, since that domestic total appears to be an Oscar “sweetspot” based on “Best Picture” winners like A Beautiful Mind ($170 million), Rain Man ($172.8), Chicago ($170 million), and Dances With Wolves ($184.2 million).

The Revenant bumped Star Wars: The Force Awakens out of the top ten, but J.J. Abrams’ film still earned $3 million, taking its record (not adjusted for inflation) domestic total to $926 million.  The new Star Wars film earned way too much to receive “serious” consideration for “Best Picture.”

Be sure to check back here next weekend as three new films open including the Disney animated feature Zootopia (which has been doing very well overseas), the Tina Fey comedy Whisky Tango Foxtrot, and the terrorist attack/action film London Has Fallen.