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Top 10 most Impressive Opening Weekends

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This is something I've been wanting to post for a while but was struggling with what to choose. I hope we can agree on at least a couple of the choices, and feel free to suggest your own. I have tried to take into account criteria like genre, budget, star power, release date and whether it was a sequel/non-sequel. I have purposely chose to avoid anything older than Indepedence Day (1996) because my personal knowledge of the boxoffice isn't as impressive that far back and films were generally more leggier back then meaning OW's weren't as important to a films success. But feel free to go back further if you wish. 

 

Deadpool- A multitude of factors were working against this film such as the R rating, Ryan Reynolds coming off a string of flops and having a low budget for a superhero movie. None of this mattered though as it easily shattered the February OW record, and it handily beat all previous X-men movies despite having none of the franchises popular characters from previous movies.

 

American Sniper- This was a film that flew pretty much under everybody’s radar but managed to annihilate the January OW record. It also opened to more than double what Lone Survivor did the previous year and that was considered a good OW for the genre. Middle America really turned out for this one.

 

The Hunger Games- Third largest OW at the time and it easily beat every Twilight movie and Harry Potter film except for the finale. While those two franchises were enormously successful, most young adult adaptations have done poorly at the boxoffice, but this succeeded them beyond even the wildest expectations.

 

Bruce Almighty- Most industry analysts were predicting this to do 50-60 million for the 4 day weekend, but it did 67 million for the three day weekend. Additionally, this was after the Matrix Reloaded opened to the second highest OW the week before. No original comedy has come close to beating Bruce Almighty’s OW despite ticket price inflation. Only 2 comedies opened bigger and they were both sequels to 200m+ comedies, Austin Powers in Goldmember and The Hangover Part II. This film is the ultimate proof that Jim Carrey was the biggest comedic draw in the last 20 years, not even Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler or Will Ferrell can touch him.

 

Independence Day- For a completely original movie to come within 2 million of breaking the OW after opening on a wenedsday is completely unthinkable in this day and age. Truly a testament to one of the greatest marketing campaigns of all time. Even crazy considering none of the cast were huge stars, Will Smith was not established as an action star yet, and while Jeff Goldblum had been in Jurassic Park he was hardly a draw. This would be my choice for the most impressive OW of all time. 

 

Hannibal- Opened with the third largest OW in a February. Pretty impressive for an R rated movie that didn’t sport flashy special effects and was a sequel to movie that came out 10 years before.

The Avengers- While I wanted to avoid sequels I felt that this one had to be included, not only because it was the first movie to debut over 200m and break the OW record, but because very few people saw it coming. While everyone had been expecting TDKR to easily coast its way to victory, the unthinkable happened and the Avengers handily won the battle. Furthermore they had done this after Iron Man 2 had fizzled out and Thor, Captain America and The Incredible Hulk all failed to make over 200m domestically.

 

Signs- Opened with the second highest OW of august in 2002, almost doubling Unbreakable and proving that M Night Shyamalan was no one trick pony. Highly impressive considering it was a non sequel and it opened much bigger than any previous movie in Mel Gibson’s career.

 

Spider-Man – While a 100m OW may not seem super exciting today with inflation, 3-D, and never ending sequels this was the movie that proved it was not only possible but that it could be done with ease. This was more than double the OW of X-men from the previous year and also had much higher attendance than any of the Batman movies.

 

Austin Powers: The Spy who Shagged Me- One of the few sequels to outgross it’s predecessor in just its OW. While many had predicted the film would be a success I doubt few thought it would be this big, to the point where Austin Powers became a legit cultural icon and capable of a record setting June OW.

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1. Star Wars the force awakens 

2. The Avengers

3. Jurassic world

4. The Hangover

5. Spider-Man 

6. Deadpool

7. Twilight New Moon

8. Deathly Hallows Part 2

9. Independence Day 

10. The hunger games 

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26 minutes ago, KJsooner said:

1. Star Wars the force awakens 

2. The Avengers

3. Jurassic world

4. The Hangover

5. Spider-Man 

6. Deadpool

7. Twilight New Moon

8. Deathly Hallows Part 2

9. Independence Day 

10. The hunger games 

While Star Wars is impressive for its sheer size, it did largely what it was expected to do. Its the largest franchise on earth, it would have taken a miracle for it to not break the record. Which is why I mostly tried to include movies that overperformed relative to their genres/budgets/predecessors.

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I remember being flabbergasted by DEADPOOL's opening weekend. Just speechless.

 

JURASSIC WORLD was a fun one to follow too because tracking and estimates just kept going up and up and up and the weekend was still over the latest and highest estimate. I won't say it was as shocking as DEADPOOL though, because of the fact I was indeed following it.

 

Can't comment much more because I wasn't following box office, at least seriously, until a couple years ago.

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2 minutes ago, JB33 said:

I remember being flabbergasted by DEADPOOL's opening weekend. Just speechless.

 

JURASSIC WORLD was a fun one to follow too because tracking and estimates just kept going up and up and up and the weekend was still over the latest and highest estimate. I won't say it was as shocking as DEADPOOL though, because of the fact I was indeed following it.

 

Can't comment much more because I wasn't following box office, at least seriously, until a couple years ago.

Its funny because at a certain point people were seriously saying that Zoolander 2 would defeat Deadpool. 

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Jurassic World still remains as the most impressive opening weekend, IMO. Nobody had any idea how huge it would be.

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