LOS ANGELES — Deadpool and his foul-mouthed crew of misfits and malcontents have taken down the Avengers.
Fox's "Deadpool 2" brought in $125 million over the weekend, giving it the second-highest opening ever for an R-rated movie and ending the three-week reign of Disney's "Avengers: Infinity War" at the top of the North American box office, according to studio estimates Sunday.
"Deadpool 2," with Ryan Reynolds returning as the title character and co-writing this time, fell somewhat short of the $130 million the studio had predicted and of the $132.4 million that its predecessor earned two years ago.
Analysts and the studio said the difference could be attributed to the movie's being the first film opening on a holiday weekend and that its shortfall could easily be made up with Memorial Day coming, despite the looming competition from "Solo: A Star Wars Story."
"I think with a holiday on our second weekend, we'll catch 'Deadpool' if not exceed it," said Chris Aronson, distribution chief for 20th Century Fox.
The film grossed $176.3 million internationally and opened better overseas than the first one did, especially finding audiences in Latin America.
The Avengers are hardly hurting. Disney and Marvel's "Avengers: Infinity War" brought in an estimated $29 million in North America, for a four-week take of $595 million domestically and $1.2 billion overseas. It's the fifth-highest-grossing film of all time worldwide.
In a different corner of the cinematic universe, "Book Club" was third, with a $12.5 million weekend that exceeded expectations.
It was a successful piece of counterprogramming for Paramount, which used the modestly budgeted comedy starring Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton and Candice Bergen to find older audiences and women while "Deadpool 2" dwelled overwhelmingly on young men.
"There are definitely audiences out there for whom superhero movies are not their cup of tea," said Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst for comScore.
"Deadpool 2" next faces off with "Solo," but the two films, along with the still-earning "Avengers," ought to make for a major Memorial Day for the industry.
"This marketplace is big enough for all these films," Dergarabedian said.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore. When available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included (final domestic figures will be released Monday):
- "Deadpool 2," $125 million ($176.3 million international)
- "Avengers: Infinity War," $28.6 million ($84.4 million international)
- "Book Club," $12.5 million
- "Life of the Party," $7.7 million ($1.3 million international)
- "Breaking In," $6.4 million ($300,000 international)
- "Show Dogs," $6 million
- "Overboard," $4.7 million ($4.1 million international)
- "A Quiet Place," $4 million ($18.8 million international)
- "Rampage," $1.5 million ($4.4 million international)
- "I Feel Pretty," $1.2 million ($1.7 million international)