Weekend Movies: Decent reviews for “Deadpool,” “Pope Francis” and even “Book Club,” but guess who’ll clean up at the box office?

“Deadpool 2” did $16-18 million business, setting a new record for an R-rated film’s “pre-opening” opening night — Thursday.

So maybe a $150 million weekend? That’s deadline.com’s speculation. Hard to guess that off marketing awareness data and Thursday night performance.

Box Office Mojo is hewing and hacking closer to the semi-official Fox projection ($130) and saying “$138 ought to do it.”


No, the market isn’t over-saturated with costumed super-hero movies. Not at all. Three in four months, all three on screens at the same time? Hasn’t hurt any of them. And Mr. Pool has earned reviews almost exactly on par with those pesky “Avengers.” I prefer “Deadpool” films to “Avengers” or “Black Panther,” “Ant-Man” or even the latest “Spider-Man,” but maybe that’s just me. 

“Book Club” is slated to demonstrate how smart it is to counter-program against blockbusters. A “Golden Girls Read Fifty Shades of Grey” comedy starring screen legends named Fonda, Bergen, Keaton and Steenburgen, it has pre-sales pointing it towards a $20 million opening — “Big Fat Greek Wedding” territory. I still say it’s a “Mother’s Day” movie held back a week, but a hit’s a hit. Passable reviews (easy laughs, aimed at a less edge-seeking audience) won’t hurt it.

The talking-dogs live action comedy “Show Dogs” isn’t from Disney’s House of Chihuahua, but could hit $10 million, if parents are desperate enough.

And Pope Francis sends his message to theaters in Wim Wenders’ “Pope Francis: A Man of His Word,” in limited release and of general limited appeal.  A decent-enough movie, it could have used a little more diversity of opinion, different voices. Is he as popular as “RBG?” We will see.

“Black Panther” has lost most of its screens and should exit the top ten. Finally. “Avengers” could earn another $30. Will “Overboard” hang onto audience share another weekend? “Life of the Party” should lose share to “Book Club.”




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