Deadpool Changing Superhero Landscape

"Who's gone over $300 million in box office sales? This guy." Photo Courtesy: WeLoveComic
“Who’s gone over $300 million in box office sales? This guy.” Photo Courtesy: WeLoveComic

By Connor Risenhoover

The superhero landscape may have changed forever thanks to the success of Deadpool. The rated R superhero film has managed to go on a tear and make $200 million in its first weekend.

Deadpool has continued to be a hit across the world as it has reached almost $500 million dollars globally in its first week. That revenue will put the film at number 6 on the top ten highest grossing R-rated movies ever.

The real staying power of the film will not be its humor or the clever use of marketing but its effect on the rest of the superhero films to follow.

Before Deadpool, an R-rating was a death knell for a superhero franchise. The Avengers, Captain American, and the entire X-Men franchise are built on the PG-13 rating.

All comic book and superhero films needed to appeal to the widest possible audience to be box office juggernaut. Studios had to count on the casual audience to boost their audiences as well as hardcore comic fans.

In the past couple of years, comic book adaptations, notably Jessica Jones and Daredevil have gotten a large following by being true to the comic that they come from. They are dark and gritty. They pull few punches. That is what gained the critical acclaim and a large audience.

Marvel has been inching closer to a more realistic representation of their comics but violence with consequence and anything that could be considered rude was a no go.

That is why when Fox stepped in with Deadpool, it seemed like the natural progression for the superhero genre to take. Deadpool is not a mature movie in the sense that it is dealing seriously with difficult issues in the way that Jessica Jones or Daredevil does.

That is not what Deadpool is doing for movies at this point. What it is doing, however, is allowing for more mature rated-R comics to be adapted. The success that an R-rated superhero movie can have is now out there for any other studio willing to commit to the idea.

Fox has already changed their next Wolverine movie from a PG-13 to R rating. That is an immediate reaction to the success of Deadpool and is just one of the many that may come as a result of how much money the movie is making the studio.

With so many movies based on comic in the works the success of Deadpool will give more an opportunity to succeed. No longer will directors or writers attempt to make something annoyingly similar to the very PG-13 humor or writing of the Avengers.

Writers will have freedom to base their success on a different and less traveled road. Deadpool has given people the ability to adapt comics that might have been previously overlooked because they contained material that might be considered too mature for mainstream movie audiences.

Really good comics and really dark heroes can now be adapted because of the success that this rated-R superhero film had.

On the flip side, this means that there will be annoyingly close rip offs of Deadpool. There will be awful humor and attempts to make the inner 7th grader giggle. It will be awful in some cases and a clear chance for a studio to make a quick buck off of the same people who supported the R-rated superhero film.

Perhaps, though, there will be more mature stories told. Perhaps there is a chance that the audience will receive more Jessica Jones’ and Daredevils than sad attempts by studios to make a quick film and take advantage of those who actually want to support more explicit comic book films in the future.