Marvel's R-rated antihero smash Deadpool continued to dominate movie theatres over the weekend, earning an estimated $55 million US and trouncing a trio of newcomers.
After pulling in a massive $152.2 million in its President's Day weekend four-day debut, the comic book adaptation from 20th Century Fox starring Ryan Reynolds as a foul-mouthed mercenary again topped the North American box office.
Having already grossed $235.4 million domestically, Deadpool — made for just $58 million — is poised to become one of the most successful R-rated movies ever.
Globally, the film — now certain to spawn a franchise of its own — has made $491.1 million thus far.
CSI-like Jesus movie opens
Among new releases, the faith-based drama Risen debuted with $11.8 million. The film, in which Joseph Fiennes plays a Roman soldier investigating the death and resurrection of Jesus, was made for about $20 million by Sony's Affirm label, which targets evangelical Christian moviegoers.
A24's critically acclaimed Puritan thriller The Witch opened with $8.7 million, marking the biggest opening of the indie label behind the Oscar-nominated drama Room. A24 celebrated Robert Eggers' directorial debut — an austere 1600s horror film, rigorously authentic to the period — as not only the company's biggest weekend in its three-year history, but one that put The Witch on course to be "the most successful film of all time with a goat in a starring role."
It may have been too art house for some horror fans, though, as The Witch received a poor C-minus CinemaScore from audiences.
Kung Fu Panda 3 debuts in 3rd spot
The Jesse Owens biopic from Focus Features, Race, struggled to find its footing with $7.3 million. Directed by Stephen Hopkins, Race stars Stephan James as the Olympic sprinter.
Edging out the three debuts was Fox's Kung Fu Panda 3, which made $12.5 million in its fourth weekend. The animated sequel, which has made $117.1 million in total, will lose its near-exclusive window of family moviegoing next weekend when Disney's Zootopia opens. That film has already begun its overseas rollout, where it made $31.2 million from 22 territories over the weekend.
The estimated ticket sales were tallied from Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theatres, according to comScore.