Ironically enough, Deadpool was the blockbuster hit Fox never intended to make. The studio had refused to sign off on the project for years, until leaked test footage of Ryan Reynolds playing the wise-cracking mercenary went viral.
Deadpool was an unexpected hit, grossing $782.6 million at the worldwide box office. That performance is all the more incredible when you consider that the film only had a budget of $58 million. The movie’s combination of R-rated violence (and sex) and comic-book-accurate humor thrilled fans, and began a campaign for R-rated superhero action that continues to this day.
The reality is that Deadpool was a game-changer for Fox, especially given the disappointing performance of X-Men: Apocalypse later in the year. It gave the studio a sense of renewed confidence, leading them to sign off on 2017’s R-rated Logan and also consider Josh Boone’s New Mutants – a movie that promises to be a comic-book-accurate supernatural thriller.
Off the back of Deadpool, we’re sure to see the X-Men universe extend away from the tentpole series, and embrace a far more diverse form. Meanwhile, this unexpected success is certain to give other studios – including Marvel Studios and Warner Bros. – renewed confidence to experiment within the superhero genre as well.