How Venom Just Broke Box Office Records

5. The Deadpool Factor


Just as It kicked off renewed interest in R-rated horrors and indeed every successful movie inspires copycats either in spirit or more obviously, Deadpool reshaped the landscape of the comic movie industry. The idea that R-rated movies could still make money in a "genre" that was traditionally so heavily geared towards the big-spending family demographic was a real game changer.

In the past, R-rated comic book movies had existed, of course, but they had represented major marketing challenges, because the people most inclined to see them (or at least to go to the cinema to see them) were alienated by the rating. No families were going to sit down to see Spawn and even the darkness of Batman Returns made Warner Bros sh*t the bed in the 90s and force Joel Schumacher to make the dayglo nightmares of Batman Forever and Batman & Robin.

What Deadpool proved was that balls-out R-rated comic book movies didn't have to apologise for themselves any more and their marketing no longer had to be deceptive. That in turn inspired Logan and the upcoming Spawn reboot and even Venom. It's no accident that Sony misrepresented the marketing to make this look like an edgy R-rated movie with a character as off-kilter and outrageous as Deadpool. They were gunning for the exact same market - why else would they have used that "like a turd in the wind" line in the trailers? - and it appears to have worked.

It's just a shame they didn't have the balls to make the film in that mold .

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