Yes, it was anecdotal evidence — but it proved to be on target.
I went to see “Deadpool” at 11 a.m. Saturday at AMC-Loews at the Waterfront (I had missed the evening preview which Tony Norman ably covered for us). I bought a seat in the VIP section but was stunned when virtually all of the other VIP seats filled up with people who had legitimately paid the extra couple of dollars.
One woman still periodically checked her email on her smart phone but that’s a blog for another day. Nevertheless, the VIP seats almost never fill up this way.
So when the predictions of a huge opening for the Ryan Reynolds movie kept creeping up through the weekend, I believed it. “Deadpool” opened with $135 million.
Here are the estimates from comScore:
1. “Deadpool” — $135,000,000.
2. “Kung Fu Panda 3” — $19,650,000, bringing its North American gross to $93,912,387.
3. “How to Be Single” — $18,750,000.
4. “Zoolander 2” — $15,650,000.
5. “The Revenant” — $6,900,000, for $159,164,599 so far.
6. “Hail, Caesar!” — $6,586,640, for $21,351,610.
7. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” — $6,194,000, for $914,838,964 to date.
8. “The Choice” — $5,250,000, for $13,259,551.
9. “Ride Along 2” — $4,131,490, for $82,662,725.
10. “The Boy” — $2,913,000, for $30,778,587.
“A remarkable, record-breaking President’s weekend with an estimated $241 million for all films in the marketplace for the F-S-S portion of the weekend (this beats 2015’s $214 million three-day portion) and an expected $275 million for the Friday through Monday holiday frame (beating last year’s $247 million for the four-days),” says Paul Dergarabedian, comScore senior media analyst.
“Fox’s R-rated Marvel Superhero film ‘Deadpool’ shatters expectations as enthusiastic audiences propel the film to the biggest-ever February and R-rated debut with $135 million for the Friday, Saturday and Sunday portion of the President’s weekend,” he says. Once you add in Monday, which is a day off for many people, the total could be $150 million.
In other news, “Spotlight” and “The Big Short” were among the winners at the Writers Guild of America awards on Saturday night.
Original screenplay: “Spotlight,” written by Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy.
Adapted screenplay: “The Big Short” by Charles Randolph and Adam McKay, based on the book by Michael Lewis.
Documentary screenplay: “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief,” by Alex Gibney.
TV and new media drama series: “Mad Men,” by Lisa Albert, Semi Chellas, Jonathan Igla, Janet Leahy, Erin Levy, Tom Smuts, Robert Towne, Matthew Weiner and Carly Wray, AMC.
TV comedy series: “Veep,” Simon Blackwell, Jon Brown, Kevin Cecil, Roger Drew, Peter Fellows, Neil Gibbons, Rob Gibbons, Sean Gray, Callie Hersheway, Armando Iannucci, Sean Love, Ian Martin, Georgia Pritchett, David Quantick, Andy Riley, Tony Roche and Will Smith, HBO.
New series: “Mr. Robot,” Kyle Bradstreet, Kate Erickson, Sam Esmail, David Iserson, Randolph Leon, Adam Penn and Matt Pyken, USA.
Original long form: “Saints & Strangers,” Seth Fisher, Walon Green, Chip Johannessen and Eric Overmyer, National Geographic Channel.
Adapted long form: “Fargo,” Steve Blackman, Bob DeLaurentis, Noah Hawley, Ben Nedivi and Matt Wolpert, based on the film “Fargo,” FX.
Original short form new media: “Back to Reality” (“Weight”), Daryn Strauss, weighttheseries.com.
Adapted short form new media: “Chapter Two: Phoebe,” (“Heroes Reborn: Dark Matters”), Zach Craley, nbc.com.
Animation: “Housetrap” (“Bob’s Burgers”), Dan Fybel, Fox.
Episodic drama: “Uno” (“Better Call Saul”), Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, AMC.
Episodic comedy: “Sand Hill Shuffle” (“Silicon Valley”), Clay Tarver, HBO.
Comedy/variety talk series: “Real Time With Bill Maher, “ Scott Carter, Adam Felber, Matt Gunn, Brian Jacobsmeyer, Jay Jaroch, Chris Kelly, Bill Maher, Billy Martin and Danny Vermont, HBO.
Comedy/variety sketch series: “Inside Amy Schumer,” head writer Jessi Klein, writers Hallie Cantor, Kim Caramele, Kyle Dunnigan, Jon Glaser, Kurt Metzger, Christine Nangle, Dan Powell, Tami Sagher and Amy Schumer, Comedy Central.
Comedy/variety specials: “Jimmy Kimmel Live: 10th Annual After the Oscars Special,” Jack Allison, Tony Barbieri, Jonathan Bines, Joelle Boucai, Greg Dorris, Gary Greenberg, Josh Halloway, Sal Iacono, Eric Immerman, Jimmy Kimmel, Bess Kalb, Jeff Loveness, Molly McNearney, Danny Ricker, Joe Strazzullo and Bridger Winegar, ABC.
Quiz and audience participation: “Hollywood Game Night,” head writer Grant Taylor, writers Michael Agbabian, Alex Chauvin, Ann Slichter and Dwight D. Smith, NBC.
Daytime drama: “General Hospital,” Ron Carlivati, Anna Theresa Cascio, Andrea Archer Compton, Suzanne Flynn, Kate Hall, Elizabeth Korte, Daniel James O’Connor, Elizabeth Page, Jean Passanante, Katherine Schock, Scott Sickles and Chris Van Etten, ABC.
Children’s episodic: “Gortimer, Ranger and Mel vs. The Endless Night” (“Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street”), Gretchen Enders and Aminta Goyel, Amazon Studios.
Children’s long form: “Descendants, “ Josann McGibbon and Sara Parriott, Disney Channel.
Documentary script, current events: “American Terrorist” (“Frontline”), Thomas Jennings, PBS.
Documentary script, other than current events: “The Great Math Mystery” (“Nova”), Daniel McCabe, PBS.
TV news script — regularly scheduled, bulletin or breaking report: “Cuba” (“60 Minutes”), by Scott Pelley, Nicole Young, Oriana Zill de Granados, Andy Court and Robert Anderson, CBS News.
TV news script — analysis, feature or commentary: “The Storm After the Storm” (“60 Minutes”), Sharyn Alfonsi, Michael Rey and Oriana Zill de Granados, CBS News.
Radio documentary: “Marking the End of Vietnam: 40 Years Later,” Andrew Evans, ABC News Radio.
Radio news script — regularly scheduled, bulletin or breaking report: “Remembering New York Icons,” Thomas A. Sabella, CBS Radio News.
Radio news script — analysis, feature or commentary: “Passages,” Gail Lee, CBS Radio News.
On-air promotion (TV, new media or radio): “The McCarthys and Under the Dome Promos,” Erial Tompkins, CBS.
Outstanding achievement in videogame writing: “Rise of the Tomb Raider,” lead narrative designer John Stafford; narrative designer Cameron Suey; lead writer Rhianna Pratchett; and additional writer Philip Gelatt, Microsoft.