20th Century Fox’s PG-13, holiday infused re-imagining of Deadpool 2 drew an estimated $953K in early morning industry estimates in its opening Wednesday at 1,566 theaters (including Tuesday previews). That number was good enough to make Once Upon a Deadpool second behind Universal/Illumination’s The Grinch which led all movies yesterday with $968K in its fifth Wednesday and a running total of $226.7M.
Rival distributors didn’t know what to expect from Once Upon a Deadpool; the film flew under the radar of tracking, and for Fox, it’s all gravy for the Deadpool brand. Not to comp because the movie catered to a completely different crowd, but the Weinstein Co.’s The King’s Speech changed its rating from R to PG-13 following its Oscar best picture win in 2011 earning $1.1M over three-days in its April re-release for a final tally of $3.3M. The whole thought process behind the whole PG-13 version isn’t really unlike what’s going on here with Deadpool 2: Both movies sought to reach a younger crowd. One dollar of every ticket sold in the United States Once Upon a Deadpool from December 12-24, 2018 will be donated to F Cancer, who have graciously changed their name to Fudge Cancer be more PG-13 friendly for the 12 days of Once Upon a Deadpool‘s release.
Tonight, Sony’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse starts showtimes at 5PM. Opening metrics still indicate a mid $30M start, but there are whispers the film could get to $40M+. The reason why the film is so hard for many to predict is because it’s Sony/Marvel (which means it could overindex), and the film skews to families, who many not necessarily come out in bulk right now during the holiday season. Also tracking doesn’t pick up on young kids under 12. Universal/Media Rights Capital’s Mortal Engines is also opening tonight at 7PM.
Schools are gradually taking off for their winter breaks. ComScore shows that 13% of U.S. colleges were off yesterday. That number grows to 26% by Friday, and by Monday there will be 65% on holiday break. K-12 schools start taking off on Monday at 4% and by Friday, Dec. 21 when Aquaman, Mary Poppins Returns and Bumblebee are in play, they will be at 32% off with 84% colleges out.
Other top grossers on Wednesday include Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet making an estimated $824K in its fourth Wednesday with a running total of $144.1M. MGM/New Line’s Creed II earned $731K in fourth place on its fourth Wednesday with a running domestic total of $98.8M.