What Logan and Deadpool tell us about superhero movies

Ladies and gentlemen meet two of the most successful and highest rated superhero movies of all time. What does these two movies have in common? Well, apart from being part of Marvel entertainment and breaking all sorts of records, Deadpool and Logan has now pretty much made it absolutely clear, Superheroes movies are not for kids and it shouldn’t be treated at such. Let me explain.

In its first opening weekend, Deadpool was able to rank in more than $132.7 million dollars making it the biggest R rated opening of all time beating the previous 2003 record holder The Matrix Reloaded which opened with $91 million in the same time frame. Deadpool was also able to achieve:

  • Biggest opening weekend for a first-time director:
  • Biggest 20th Century Fox debut ever
  • Biggest R-rated Monday
  • Biggest R-rated comic book superhero movie of all time
  • Biggest X-Men debut of all time
  • 2nd Biggest R-rated comic book movie of all time
  • Biggest X-Men movie of all time (then Logan had to happen didn’t it)
They did not hesitate with bring out a sequel.

Deadpool achieved all this in spite of having a budget of just $58 million bringing in more than $326 million in the United States and $491 million worldwide. Not bad bad for a movie that would’ve never never seen the light of day if Ryan Reynolds did not purposely release the test footage online because Fox Studios refused to green light the project as they believed an R rated superhero movie would have no chance of success if the ‘kids’ cannot see it. Boy where they wrong. The question is, would there be a sequels? I mean is that even a question that needs asking?

Then there is Logan. Unlike previous wolverine movies which was mainly set for a 12+ rating, Logan is definitely not a movie you would take a child to watch as its set for a strong R rating making it the first R Rated Wolverine movie. This is one of the reasons why it was able to achieve an impressive $85.3 million opening which easily ranks it as the best opening in the Wolverine trilogy. Typically superhero movies organically see a double-digit percent decline in their Friday-to-Saturday grosses. Except for Logan which collected $31.3M in its second day of release, down a low 5% from Friday’s $33.1M.

Now of course just because you have an R rated movie doesn’t automatically make for a great movie. There are multiple factors that goes into creating a classic but the pattern does not lie. the (so called) Adults love superhero movies almost if not more than the kids but we do not want to be left with having to watch a dumbed down version just to please the kids. Now I understand that the market for the kids is pretty huge (alongside the ability for merchandising. Just look at Disney Cars or Spiderman) but when you give the people what they ‘really’ want, you get results like this:

Even Batman V Superman was able to somewhat redeem itself with the release of the R-rated blu ray special. R rating may not work for all superhero movies I mean look at Civil. It did incredibly well in spite of being rated 12+ but it just goes to wonder. How much more could Civil had achieved if it was R rated? It did great for both Logan and Deadpool.

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