No god of Egypt, Olympic ski jumper or corrupt cop squad can topple Deadpool from its No. 1 perch this weekend as 20th Century Fox’s Marvel superhero film looks to make $30M in its third sesh. Through Tuesday, Deadpool has collected $246.5M and is expected to clear $300M during the first weekend in March.
Of the three wide entries, Lionsgate’s $140M Gerard Butler spectacle Gods of Egypt should cash in between $12M-$15M at an estimated 3,100 runs. After dropping a trailer back in the fall, the film promptly was slammed on the web for its whitewashed cast, prompting Lionsgate and director Alex Proyas to issue apologies. Gods arrives during a whirlwind week where diversity is a hot-button topic, not only at the Oscars but in the wake of various studies, such as the one from USA Today, revealing Hollywood’s lack of minorities and females in starring roles and in the director’s chair. Lionsgate had the benefit of Australian tax credits and foreign presales, limiting its exposure to $10M. Gods will reap the benefit of 3D and Imax ticket surcharges, and it also will debut in 68 territories with a March 11 opening in China. Proyas’ last movie, the 2009 mystery drama Knowing starring Nicolas Cage, was a decent hit for Summit, made for $50M and earning $24.6M in its opening, a final domestic of $80M and a global take of $183.6M. Gods of Egypt previews start at 7 PM Thursday.
20th Century Fox’s sports movie Eddie the Eagle could get wrapped up around Open Road’s all-star corrupt-cop heist title Triple 9, with each vying for $7M-$9M. Open Road acquired Triple 9 from Worldview Entertainment. The pic directed by John Hillcoat and starring Casey Affleck, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Anthony Mackie, Kate Winslet, Gal Gadot, Aaron Paul and Woody Harrelson carries an estimated budget of $20M. Triple 9 will be in play at 2,205 venues.
Fox began screening Eddie the Eagle at the Sundance Film Festival and in Los Angeles last month. Taron Egerton stars as Eddie Edwards, a clumsy skier who found his passion in ski jumping. Edwards was the very-last-place finisher in two events at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, but left benchmarks in Great Britain’s record books for the sport. Fox acquired Eddie the Eagle last March.
Most of the best picture nominees, except for Fox’s The Revenant, are in limited release. Nonetheless, the prestigious bunch typically see a minor bump in their B.O. totals over awards weekend. Open Road’s Spotlight will expand from 401 sites to 685. Fox Searchlight’s Brooklyn inches from 440 to 468 theaters. We’ll have more Oscar B.O. analysis later in the week.