A cornucopia of superheroes gathered at the local multiplex this weekend, squaring off in some sort of weird, meta, battle royale-like clash. In one corner, the A-list do-gooders from the Avengers, the three-time defending box-office champs. In the other, the R-rated upstart Deadpool and his own (admittedly derivative) X-Force team.
But even before the contest began, few had any doubts as who the real winner was: Marvel.
OK, so Deadpool 2 officially claimed the weekend’s box-office title (as expected). The Merc with the Mouth and his motley band of messy heroes banked an estimated $125 million in North America to coast to victory, likely swearing the whole way. Experts had expected Deadpool 2 to collect a little more cash (the original Deadpool cleared $132.4 million during its first weekend of work, and in the doldrums of February no less), but to complain about a $100-plus-million opening feels downright silly.
Avengers: Infinity War slipped to second this week, harvesting another $28.7 million from moviegoers and pushing its domestic total gross to $595 million.
But, of course, the real takeaway from the weekend’s contest is Marvel’s Thanos-like domination in moviedom right now.
Both the Avengers and Deadpool are Marvel properties, co-owned by Disney and 21st Century Fox, respectively. (We’ll set aside the fact that Disney’s in the process of purchasing Fox right now.) Those two superhero properties, combined with Black Panther’s utter hegemony earlier this year, show that the superhero genre is as strong with the public as ever. Collectively, these three movies have spent a total of two full months of 2018 at the top of the box office and have earned, worldwide, $3.4 billion. That just might be enough to rebuild Thor’s home planet of Asgard, quite frankly.
Another, less bombastic newcomer, Book Club, slid into third place with $12.5 million. No word yet whether that’ll be enough for the film to (ahem) cover its expenses.
Life of the Party and Breaking In landed in fourth and fifth place, respectively. Life collected $7.7 million, while Breaking In swept up another $6.5 million. That left Show Dogs, a surprisingly controversial talking-dog film, outside the top five. It finished sixth with $6 million.