‘Marvel’s ‘Deadpool & Wolverine’ projected to have a massive $160 million to $165 million opening weekend.

The superhero tentpole directed by Shawn Levy features Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman and is the initial R-rated movie ever distributed by Disney.

The upcoming Marvel Studios film, which is the third installment in the popular superhero series led by actor Ryan Reynolds, is expected to debut with a minimum of $160 million to $165 million in the domestic box office over the weekend of July 26-28, with significant potential for even higher earnings. This would mark the strongest opening of the year so far and the largest ever for an R-rated movie. Additionally, it would provide a valuable boost for the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the superhero genre as a whole.

Shawn Levy was the director of Deadpool & Wolverine, featuring Reynolds as the fun-loving, foul-mouthed antihero Deadpool/Wade Wilson and Hugh Jackman as the introverted, intense Wolverine/Logan. (Wolverine, the most popular character in the X-Men film universe, was last seen in the standalone movie Logan in 2017.) All three actors share a close friendship offscreen and are currently on a global tour promoting Deadpool 3. The first Deadpool movie made headlines by grossing $133.7 million in its domestic opening weekend in February 2016, establishing the record for the highest start ever for an R-rated film, a record it still holds. It proved that a superhero film could attract large audiences despite the restrictive rating. A little over two years later, Deadpool 2 premiered to $125.5 million.

The first R-rated movie ever released by Disney, Marvel or any other studio is Deadpool & Wolverine. Bob Iger, the CEO of Disney, assured that the franchise would retain its R-rated status after the merger. When the SAG-AFTRA labor strikes occurred last year, Levy and Reynolds, with the help of Deadpool writers Paul Wernick, Rhett Reese, and writer Zeb Wells, had to halt production. Fortunately, production resumed in November after the labor strikes were settled, allowing them to meet their summer release date

Lately, superhero movies haven’t been performing well at the box office. When Marvel’s latest movie, “The Marvels,” was released in November 2023, it only brought in $46 million, forcing Feige and his team to confront a challenging reality. “Deadpool & Wolverine” seems to be the remedy they were looking for, providing Disney’s film empire with its second major box office success following “Inside Out 2,” which has surpassed the $1 billion mark after debuting with $154 million domestically, making it the biggest opening of the year so far.

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