This weekend’s release of Deadpool shattered all box office expectations, creating a new record for a February movie release with $135 million dollars. It also forged a new record for the highest-opening for an R-rated film, beating 2003’s The Matrix Reloaded by more than $40 million dollars.
Filmed in various locations in the Lower Mainland, Deadpool also gives our local film production industry another win: the movie injected $40 million dollars into B.C.’s economy for the 58 days it shot here. Over 2,000 crew members, local actors and extras were employed, giving these trained workers $19 million in wages.
“Vancouver continues to be an attractive and competitive production hub, with outstanding scenery,” commented David Starke, Executive Vice President, Physical Production for Twentieth Century Fox. “We were thrilled to shoot in B.C. where we had access to some of the best cast and crew, and a variety of locations that provided the ideal backdrop for so many of the movie’s most exciting scenes.”
Starke may be referring to the climactic car chase and gunfight sequence that was filmed on downtown Vancouver’s Georgia Street Viaduct. In April 2015 the Deadpool production shot on the Viaduct, with the roadway closed to traffic for 10 days. The sequence is one of the movie’s longest ones, showing off the False Creek waterfront and skyline of Vancouver as the red-and-black costumed superhero squares off against armed bad guys.
Facts & Figures from Deadpool’s Bottom Line
“I have seen firsthand the enormous positive impact that productions like Deadpool have had on our city,” said Gregor Robertson, Vancouver’s Mayor. “Film and television production continues to be a billion dollar industry here, and it is a growing contributor to Vancouver’s nation-leading economic growth.”
The Mayor makes an important point. Vancouver and B.C. have earned the nickname “Hollywood North” for the hundreds of movie and television productions that have filmed in our backyard. But when you take a closer look at the dollar impact, you’ll begin to see how this creative sector helps pump tens of millions of dollars into our economy.
For example, on just the Deadpool production alone:
- The crew spent nearly $815,000 on hotel rooms, catering and food costs
- Nearly $780,000 was spent on truck & car rentals, plus additional transportation costs
- North of $735,000 went to construction costs on the movie
- And more than $1 million was earmarked on location costs
The Reynolds Connection
While B.C.’s reputation for highly experienced crews helped, let’s not forget that local boy-made-good Ryan Reynolds also played a huge part in getting Deadpool to the big screen. Reynolds had first originated the merc with a mouth character in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which had some pick-up photography shot at UBC. While that movie’s version of the character wasn’t what Reynolds had hoped for, his belief in giving Deadpool a second screen chance and getting back to the comic book roots of the hero have now paid off.
“I got to push it to my hometown…really so I could see my mom,” the actor recently told etalk about why he fought to get his movie made where his roots are. “But Vancouver has some of the best production facilities in the world and I really wanted to be in Vancouver and be home.”