LOS ANGELES • What superhero fatigue? The return of Wade Wilson, that rascally, R-rated mercenary in red, gave 20th Century Fox its biggest opening weekend in two years - since he first sashayed into pop-culture superstardom in Deadpool in 2016.
Deadpool 2, the well-reviewed sequel starring Ryan Reynolds, arrived to roughly US$125 million (S$168 million) at North American theatres according to comScore, which compiles box-office data. It took in another US$176 million overseas, for a worldwide total of US$301 million.
It cost US$110 million to make, or nearly double the price of the first one, which took in US$132.4 million over its first three days and went on to collect US$783.1 million worldwide. Once again, Fox mounted a madcap marketing campaign that approached performance art, complete with a ballet-infused Celine Dion video.
Second place for the weekend went to - you guessed it - a collection of superheroes. Avengers: Infinity War generated about US$28.7 million in ticket sales, for a worldwide total of US$1.8 billion.
More spandex is on the way, including Pixar's The Incredibles 2 on June 12 and Marvel's Ant-Man And The Wasp on July 6.
In a bit of successful counter-programming, Book Club arrived in third place, with about US$12.5 million.
The PG13 comedy starring Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Diane Keaton and Mary Steenburgen was independently financed by Endeavor Content and June Pictures, the company behind the 2017 Cannes hit, The Florida Project.
Paramount said 60 per cent of the audience was over 50 years old.
Fonda sought to stir interest in the days leading up to release with a sassy Twitter message to Reynolds. "You're not the only one that kills in a tight little red outfit," she wrote. "We'll show you ours if you show us yours."