Long Range Forecast: DEADPOOL & WOLVERINE is the Frontrunner for the Highest-Grossing Film of 2024

Courtesy of Disney/Marvel Studios

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Long Range Forecast — July 26, 2024

Deadpool & Wolverine | Marvel Studios / Disney
Domestic Opening Weekend Range: $175M – $200M (as of 6/28)

2016’s Deadpool was a big February hit and went on to make $363M domestic and $782.8M global. The first film in the franchise still holds its second-place ranking on the list of all-time domestic box office for an R-rated movie, behind 2004’s The Passion of the Christ ($370.7M), and ranks fourth on the all-time highest-rated list globally. Deadpool 2 nearly equaled the domestic take of the first film, with $324.5M, and surpassed the global take with $785.8M. Deadpool 2 is the third highest-grossing R-rated film of all time globally and the seventh domestically.

Following Disney’s purchase and rebranding of 20th Century Fox in 2019, Deadpool & Wolverine marks the first film in the series directly tied to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which the meta antihero is expected to poke fun at in the latest installment (a fight scene from the trailer shows a crumbling 20th Century Fox sign in the background).

Late last year, Disney made a long-rumored shake-up of the MCU release calendar official by shifting Captain America: Brave New World and Thunderbolts out of 2024 and into 2025. Outside of Sony’s Spider-Man adjacent releases, Disney’s calendar shuffle leaves Deadpool & Wolverine as 2024’s sole Marvel title. When online ticketing service Fandango revealed its 2024 Most Anticipated Movies Survey of over 8,000 ticket-buyers, Deadpool & Wolverine was voted the #1 most anticipated film and the #1 most anticipated summer movie. Hugh Jackman and Ryan Reynolds were also voted 2024’s most anticipated superheroes, with the film also taking the top spot in the most anticipated superhero film category, outscoring other upcoming titles like Venom: The Last Dance and Joker: Folie à Deux.

Marvel Studios’ teaser trailer for the film broke global records following its Super Bowl release, scoring 365 million views in just 24 hours, making it the most-viewed movie trailer of all time. When pre-sales began, the title quickly broke Fandango’s record for best first-day ticket sales of 2024 and became Fandango’s best first-day pre-seller from the Deadpool franchise, surpassing the first-day ticket sales for both previous entries. Capitalizing on Dune 2‘s viral popcorn bucket, Ryan Reynolds delivered on the promise of a suggestive Deadpool & Wolverine popcorn tub with the reveal of a Wolverine-focused bucket that has generated nearly 4 million views on Twitter.

Shawn Levy directs the threequel starring Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman. Levy took the stage at CinemaCon this year, giving audiences a 9-minute look at the film. Levy also received this year’s CinemaCon Director of the Year award at the Big Screen Achievement Awards ceremony, where he shared a story from the set of his first film with Hugh Jackman, 2011’s Real Steel, where producer Steven Spielberg commented that Levy directs like he’s sitting in the audience. Levy added, “Steven articulated something I always felt but had never named. I do direct like I’m sitting in the audience because that’s who I work for.” The film marks Jackman’s return to the Wolverine character, which he last played in 2017’s Logan ($226.2M domestic/$619.1M global).

Based on the awareness and pre-sales already in the bag, our Forecasting Panel believes Deadpool & Wolverine has the potential to become the highest-grossing movie of 2024—and could finish its theatrical run as the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time. Can Deadpool & Wolverine hit the highest-grossing opening weekend for an R-rated movie? That’s practically a given at this point, with current record-holder Deadpool (2016) being an easy target at $132M. The real benchmark that Deadpool & Wolverine should set its sights on is much higher: can the film build on this momentum to become the first $200M opener for an R-rated movie? It’s certainly an attainable target based on the early tracking.

Tracking Updates [as of 6/28]

Release DateTitleOpening Weekend RangeDistributor
6/28/24Horizon: An American Saga$12-$20MWarner Bros.
6/28/24A Quiet Place: Day One$50-$60MParamount Pictures
7/3/24Despicable Me 4$65-$85M (3-Day)
$100 – $125M (5-Day)
Universal Pictures / Illumination
7/12/24Fly Me to the Moon$10-$20MSony/Apple
7/19/24Twisters$65-$90M Universal

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Courtesy of Disney/Marvel Studios
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