The irreverent marketing for the Deadpool movie fuels box office success

The risks taken with the marketing for the Deadpool movie appear to be paying off, with buzz around the film set to turn it into the year’s first blockbuster.

The film only hit cinemas on Wednesday (10 February) and box office analysts have already admitted that they grossly underestimated the film’s earning potential. It set a new record for a Friday in February with an estimated $47.5m from 3,558 cinemas in the US, easily smashing Fifty Shades of Grey’s previous record of $30.3m this time last year. And now the film is being tipped to easy go past $110m for the three-day part of the four-day Presidents’ Day weekend and even top $130m for the full period.

Such is the success that the film is on track to be the biggest opening for an R-rated release and the highest grossing February opening of all time. Boxoffice.com predicts the film to rake in $114m at the end of the holiday weekend, while film statistics research business Exhibitor Relations suggests $127m in the same period.

Deadpool’s studio 20th Century Fox had forecasted the film, which cost nearly $60m to produce, to make $65m over the four-day period, so the performance reinforces their decision to go against the grain and open a super hero film in the usually quietly February period.

More importantly, the film’s marketing, which star Ryan Reynolds has been heavily involved in, has been crucial to generating awareness for what was a relatively unknown super hero. The film’s marketers played on the fact that the Deadpool character is aware he’s a comic book character to concoct a campaign that made fun of the super hero genre and also made repeated attempts to produce content that could go viral such as the emoji poster (see above).