Will “Deadpool 2” Be Better Than The Original?

Matthew Loffhagen
20th Century Fox
(Photo: 20th Century Fox)

There’s a lot riding on the upcoming movie starring Deadpool.

Despite the fact that Fox is in the process of being purchased wholesale by Marvel, the company’s movie wing is still pushing forward with vigor, with all eyes on the crowing jewel, a sequel to a small-budget superhero movie that nobody actually wanted to make.

To the surprise of all of the Fox executives involved in greenlighting the project, “Deadpool” actually turned out to be phenomenally popular, and as such, everyone at the top of the company wants to take the credit for this achievement by making lightning strike twice, proving that they deserve to keep their jobs once Disney starts restructuring the company.

Apparently, things are looking really good for “Deadpool 2”. According to The Hollywood Reporter, test screenings for the new movie sequel have actually seen it score higher than the original, which is no small feat.

While the highest test screening score that “Deadpool” managed was an impressive 91, various different versions the new film are scoring between 91 and 98. People really like this movie.

According to The Hollywood Reporter:

“The crew attended the final screenings in Dallas, and a source in the audience of the 98 screening describing the environment to THR as being electric and akin to watching the Super Bowl.”

That said, it’s hard to take these scores completely seriously.

Deadpool’s star has risen significantly over the past couple of years, so what was once an obscure comic book character is not a recognizable face of anarchy and humor. There’s a lot of goodwill bouncing around for Ryan Reynolds’ character, and that’s going to naturally translate into positivity for viewers of the film.

It doesn’t help that the crew for the movie have been attending screenings. Obviously, they’ll want to see the reaction from audiences, but with them present while viewers are evaluating the movie, it’s going to be hard for audiences to be truly objective in their appraisal.

This is a problem with test screenings in general – often, audiences are just so pleased that they get to watch a movie before its wider release that they’ll have a better time in the theater than they would have if they’d had to wait a few weeks. With movies like this, it’s hard to trust test scores, because audiences are very rarely negative when offered a free, exclusive movie ticket.

Movies like “Batman v Superman” and “Suicide Squad” enjoyed overwhelmingly positive test scores. This meant nothing once wider audiences actually saw the movies, and by and large decided that they were terrible.

Deadpool Cable
Source: 20th Century Fox

All of this isn’t to say that “Deadpool 2” will be a bad movie. You simply can’t trust test review scores to accurately portray a film’s quality – especially when a studio stands a lot to gain from releasing good numbers to the press and soaking up good speculative word of mouth.

Feel free to stay optimistic about the movie, just be aware that test scores don’t necessarily reflect a film’s actual quality. Even and especially when that movie involves Ryan Reynolds making dumb jokes amid a flurry of R-rated violence.