David Leitch, the director of Deadpool 2, took some time to discuss he and his crew’s initial thoughts about competing with Solo: A Star Wars Story.
In an interview with Comicbook.com, Leitch says that he and Ryan Reynolds, the film’s star/producer/co-writer, agreed that “We can’t operate from a place of fear.”
“Deadpool was a very special brand,” he explained. “And so, it was like, they’re different movies and let’s just aggressively go forward and make the best movie possible and who knows.”
For those who have not been keeping track, Deadpool 2 came out May 18, only one week before Solo was released over the Memorial Day weekend. However, in a twist that probably surprised some, the niche superhero movie outperformed the Star Wars film, making $301 million worldwide over its three days ($125 million domestically) compared to Solo‘s $168 million over four days ($103 million domestic).
Both actually performed below projections (though Solo more severely), and both had achievements: Deadpool 2 had the second biggest opening for an R-rated film, while Solo was the biggest Memorial Day weekend opening since 2014. Still, given that Solo is actually the most expensive Star Wars film, its low opening numbers must sting for Lucasfilm.
Deadpool, for its part, continues to be generally surprising in its success. It is a very strange sort of superhero story, being a raunchy comedy with a morally ambiguous protagonist who frequently breaks the fourth wall. As with Logan and the upcoming New Mutants, it is part of Fox’s strategy of mixing genres together to try and avoid “superhero fatigue.”
Solo, meanwhile, has been been getting good (if not extraordinary) reviews from those who see it, and mixes typical Star Wars fun with a crime story, focusing on Han Solo’s early adventures. Due to a troubled production and marketing, it seems that many just did not see it as a major “event” that fans needed to see, accounting for its low sales.
Nevertheless, many predict that Solo will have an unusually strong second weekend, and either way, Leitch may have a good point: these are very different movies, and we shouldn’t get too caught up in comparing them.