Deadpool marks the Marvel cinematic universe’s first foray into the R-rated movie market, and it seems to be paying off. The Ryan Reynolds vehicle grossed $12.7 million Thursday night, giving it the biggest preview number ever for an R-rated film and the biggest of all time for the month of February, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The site reports that some box-office analysts believe Deadpool will surpass $70 million, one of the top debuts ever for an R-rated title, but Fox is being more conservative in suggesting $60 million to $65 million.
Previously The Hangover Part II held the title for highest grossing Thursday opening for an R-rated film ($10.4 million), launching over Memorial Day weekend in 2011, followed by Fifty Shades of Grey ($8.6 million) last year.
Deadpool even bested previous Marvel records held by Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($10.2 million) and Guardians of the Galaxy ($11.2 million). It’s obviously a very encouraging sign for the film’s box office potential.
Deadpool began playing at 7 p.m. in 2,975 locations and will expand into a total of 3,558 runs today, including IMAX locations. The IMAX portion of Thursday night’s haul was $2.3 million, the sixth biggest preview ever for the large-format circuit.