Once Upon A Deadpool Flops Hard Over In China


Eyebrows were raised when Fox announced that they were releasing a PG-13 cut of Deadpool 2 just in time for Christmas. This turned out to be Once Upon a DeadpoolHopes were high that it would offer something unique as after all, when has Ryan Reynolds ever let us down with this character?

Well, what was released seems destined to end up as a footnote, as after receiving poor reviews it ended up taking in a paltry $6 million at the domestic box office. Now, that’s not that bad if you consider that this is a recut of an already successful movie, but these are far from the numbers Fox had hoped for.

It seems they tried their luck in China, too, where the film has been retitled Deadpool 2: I Love My Family, and unsurprisingly, it was greeted there with a collective shrug, despite Reynolds skipping arm surgery to promote the movie in the Middle Kingdom. In an apparently telling bit of news, the pic even went against the Chinese norm by making less money on Saturday than it did on Friday.

Twitter user Gavin Feng tracks the performance of the Chinese box office and had this to say about its lack of popularity:

“China Box Office: Deadpool 2: I Love My Home earns $7.67M on SAT. This is lower than what it made on FRI, which is an unusual phenomenon for superhero films. $16.33M in 2 days for the PG-13 version DP2.

SAT<FRI mean local audience do not like it, and the negative WOM already affected it’s performance. There are many reasons that Chinese don’t embrace it: A)PG-13 version isn’t as fun as R-rated one. B)Many jokes in this film are not friendly to [a] general audience here who don’t understand superhero cultures.

For example, most people in here can not figure out the difference between Marvel films of Disney & those of Fox. They don’t know the R-rated box office situation between The Passion of Jesus & DP1.”

Interestingly, Deadpool 2 never actually got a Chinese release, so this is the first opportunity audiences in that region will have had to see the film (assuming they haven’t bought the DVD or downloaded it). Even so, it’s sounding like this experiment into making Deadpool a PG-13 character simply hasn’t paid off in the way the studio hoped. With Disney soon to own the rights to him, it’s perhaps an early lesson that the Merc With a Mouth should stay firmly as an R-rated character.