3 Reasons “Deadpool” Must Succeed
Many Deadpool fans are thrilled with the red-band trailer for Deadpool, which featured foul language, sex, graphic violence, and raunchy, meta humor. On February 12, 2016, Deadpool will be released in the same year as the following superhero films: Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Captain America: Civil War, Doctor Strange, Gambit, and Suicide Squad. Deadpool is unlikely to out-gross any of these films, however, it must succeed for three salient reasons.
3. 20th Century Fox Needs Another Successful Superhero Franchise
The superhero films that 20th Century Fox has and is currently distributing include: X-Men, X2: X-Men United, X-Men 3: The Last Stand, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, X-Men: First Class, The Wolverine, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Gambit, Deadpool, X-Men: Apocalypse, Daredevil (2003), Elektra, Fantastic Four (2005), Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, and Fantastic Four (2015). The X-Men Franchise has grossed $3 billion dollars, but 20th Century Fox’s other Marvel-based superhero films have struggled. Neither Daredevil nor Elektra merited a sequel because they were universally panned and had underwhelming box office results. Similarly, Tim Story’s Fantastic Four (2005) and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer were universally panned and did not make enough to justify continuing said franchise. Fantastic Four (2015), a reboot of the Fantastic Four Franchise, currently has a an abysmal 21% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an IMDb audience rating well under 6.0 out of 10.
All of 20th Century Fox’s successful Marvel-based superhero films either featured Wolverine and or Charles Xavier. Deadpool does not officially feature Wolverine or Charles Xavier, so if it succeeds, it would provide a new source of revenue for 20th Century Fox to mine as their X-Men Franchise evolves: Hugh Jackman is retiring as Wolverine after The Wolverine 3 and Jennifer Lawrence might quit portraying Mystique after X-Men: Apocalypse. In other words, 20th Century Fox will need to make other successful superhero films to retain the rights to Marvel characters that they own and remain a relevant competitor to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
2. Variety – R-rated Superhero Movies
Thanks to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, The Dark Knight Trilogy, the X-Men Franchise, and DC Cinematic Universe, superhero movies are ridiculously popular. Unfortunately, over the past decade, an R-rated superhero film has not broken out at the box office. Kick-Ass, which received critical and audience praise, grossed $96 million worldwide on a $30 million budget, which is nothing in comparison to Marvel’s The Avengers, which grossed $1.5 billion on a $220 million budget. It is unreasonable to expect Deadpool to gross this much, and due to its more modest budget, it can gross less at box office and still be profitable. Other R-rated superhero movies that struggled at the box office include: Kick-Ass 2, which only made $60 million worldwide on a $28 million budget; The Punisher (2004), which only made $54 million on a $33 million budget; and The Punisher: War Zone, which made $10 million worldwide on a $35 million budget.
With the oncoming slew of PG-13 rated superhero films in the X-Men Franchise, Marvel Cinematic Universe, and DC Cinematic Universe, there are less and less studios producing R-rated superhero films. Deadpool, on the other hand, is targeted at mature (age-wise) audiences. If it is successful, other studios may become more interested in making R-rated superhero films for mature audiences, which would help provide more variety to a genre at risk of becoming over-saturated within the next several years.
1. Ryan Reynolds Needs A Hit
Ever since Reynolds’ box office hit, The Proposal, he has starred in a slew of poorly reviewed and received films that have also struggled at the box office: R.I.P.D., The Change-Up, Green Lantern, Turbo, and Self-Less. Neither The Croods nor Safe House, Reynolds’ last two box office hits, succeed because of him. Given Reynolds’ struggling star power, he is in desperate need of a box office hit. This need is compounded upon because Reynolds starred in the following universally panned superhero movies: Green Lantern, Blade: Trinity, and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. If Deadpool is a good movie and financially successful, it would be a major win for Ryan Reynolds.
Are you stoked for Deadpool? Do you think it can succeed and lead to more R-rated superhero films being made?
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*All boxoffice results and budget information is available on Box Office Mojo.