Ryan Reynolds’ Vancouver-shot action comedy Deadpool 2 has hit the screens, and is on track for a US$125-million domestic opening at the box office.
That will fall short of its predecessor, 2016’s Deadpool, which took in US$132.4 million and holds the title as the top-grossing opening weekend for an R-rated movie.
But it was enough to easily displace Avengers: Infinity War as the weekend’s biggest film. The Marvel juggernaut took in US$29 million this weekend.
Film-tracking website Box Office Mojo says the sequel, with a US$110 million production budget, raked in US$301 million worldwide.
WATCH: ‘Deadpool 2’ injects life into B.C. economy
It has also won favourable reviews, scoring 83 per cent with critics and 85 per cent with audiences, according to Rotten Tomatoes.
The weekend leaves Deadpool 2 as both the second-highest grossing R-rated film opening, and the second-highest grossing opening weekend for a Vancouver-shot movie. Whether the film will eventually eclipse its predecessor’s final $783-million worldwide haul is yet to be seen.
The film, which stars Vancouver-born Reynolds as a foul-mouthed mercenary, is sure to delight Vancouver film buffs with its on-screen depiction of the city.
The original Deadpool featured several key locations, including the city’s viaducts which were shut down for two weeks during production, something Reynolds said at the time would be “worth it.”
The sequel turns up the volume, offering a scenic view of the city from the North Shore mountains, a parachute scene in front of Vancouver’s iconic Lions Gate Bridge and a sweeping chase scene through downtown Vancouver that ends in destruction on the Granville Street Bridge.
Coquitlam’s mostly-shuttered Riverview Hospital, which has appeared in multiple productions including the X-Files and Supernatural, features prominently as a home for troubled mutant youth.
And Victoria’s Royal Roads University makes a reappearance, reprising its role as the X-Mansion (or Xavier’s Academy for Gifted Youngsters), home base of Marvel’s X-Men.
LISTEN: Deadpool’s impact on Vancouver
“I think Ryan has been a fantastic ambassador for the city and the province in general,” Prem Gill, CEO of Creative B.C. told CKNW’s The Lynda Steele Show.
“What’s great about these films is that it’s undeniably Vancouver.”
Indeed, Tourism Vancouver has even put together a walking tour of locations from the first Deadpool film.
And it’s not just the on-screen appearances. Gill said numbers aren’t yet available for Deadpool 2‘s economic impact on the city, but the initial 2016 film contributed $40 million in direct spending to the local economy.
That included more than $1 million on locations, $800,000 in hotels, $700,000 in construction and the salary of more than 2,000 film workers.
WATCH: Deadpool 2 filming underway in Vancouver
Deadpool 2 filmed in Vancouver over the summer of 2017, at times shutting down major arterials and drawing crowds of gawking fans.
The production also involved tragedy on set. Stunt actor Sequana (Joi S.J.) Harris was fatally thrown from her motorcycle while attempting her first ever professional stunt in August.
The film contains a dedication to Harris in the credits, which reads “In memory of Sequana Harris.”
-With files from the Associated Press