The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

‘Deadpool 2’ opens to $301 million worldwide, with a huge assist from overseas audiences

Ryan Reynolds returns as king of the box office, in “Deadpool 2.” (20th Century Fox.)

“DEADPOOL 2” opened big worldwide over the weekend, though not as massively on its home shores as the franchise’s first film — a foreign-market twist that, it turns out, is precisely on trend.

“Deadpool 2” won the weekend with a domestic debut of $125 million, according to box-office estimates Sunday — slightly off “Deadpool’s” surprise opening total of $132.4 million in 2016.

Yet while some skeptics might read in those tea leaves a case of flagging franchise interest, the larger picture is: “Deadpool 2” is staying true to form alongside numerous films based on Marvel characters.

That’s because the Fox sequel grossed $176.3 million overseas — bringing the global total to an impressive $301.3 million (already landing “Deadpool 2” among the top 10 films of the year worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo).

In other words: Yet another sequel starring a Marvel-sprung superhero fared stronger on foreign shores the second time around.

Specifically, 58.5 percent of “Deadpool 2″ opening box office came from overseas audiences — compared with just 53.6 percent for “Deadpool.”

That shift is in line with some other superhero franchises in recent years, including:

* Thor. The first film, in 2011, drew 59.7 percent of its total from overseas — but two years later, the first sequel drew a whopping 68 percent from foreign markets. (Last year’s second sequel, “Thor: Ragnarok,” did 63.1 percent of its business overseas.)

* Captain America. The franchise’s first film, “The First Avenger” (2011), did 52.3 percent of its box office overseas, compared with 2014’s “The Winter Soldier” (63.6 percent foreign) and 2016’s “Civil War” (64.6 percent).

* The Avengers. In 2012, “Avengers” drew 59 percent of its tally from non-domestic markets; three years later, the first sequel, “Avengers: Age of Ultron”, did 67.3 percent of its business on foreign shores. And the currently running second sequel, “Avengers: Infinity War”, is holding to form, with 67.2 percent from overseas.

So view any “Deadpool 2” naysayers with healthy skepticism. “Deadpool 2”, which received an “A” via CinemaScore and an 86 percent “fresh” audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, is also already among the top five movies of the year domestically. (Also worth noting: The two “Deadpool” movies received an identical 83 percent “fresh” from critics.)

Meanwhile, the top two movies of the year are also from the Marvel comic-book stable.

Domestically, “Black Panther” ($697.8 million) and “Infinity War” ($595 million) lead the way. And worldwide, “Infinity War” ($1.81 billion) and “Black Panther” ($1.34 billion) are 2018’s box-office pacesetters — with “Solo: A Star Wars Story” arriving Friday.

Read more:

‘Avengers: Infinity War,’ buoyed by China, becomes the biggest superhero movie ever

‘Avengers: Infinity War’ tops ‘Force Awakens’ for biggest debut box-office weekend ever

How a pioneering stuntwoman’s memory looms over ‘Deadpool 2’