They said that comic book movies would eventually plateau. They said that at some point, probably pretty soon, the genre would finally die out, opening the door for the next big trend in Hollywood.
But then Deadpool hit and everything changed.
This cannot be overstated. The impact that this movie will have not only on Marvel but on comic book cinema itself will be seen as the landmark moment that it is, even if that's not the case right now.
But if it's not, it should be.
The Merc with a Mouth brought in $135 million in its opening weekend, completely wrecking every other R-rated film in Hollywood history. Think about that for a moment.
Deadpool is a comic book character that the casual moviegoer likely doesn't know unless he's familiar with the books. Deadpool is crude, he's foul mouthed, he's vicious and he inhabits a world that is all of that plus more.
The movie is a bloody and often gruesome death-fest full of sadistic criminals and only a handful of characters that possess any redeeming qualities whatsoever. At the center of it all is a wisecracking guy in a red bodysuit.
That film broke records. What a world we live in.
This is what comic book fans want. This is what we need. Deadpool has been a dream for such a long time and even though Hollywood has seen super soldiers, Norse gods and wall crawling heroes, it has never seen this.
Deadpool is the anti-Marvel movie; it's made with the same formula in terms of updating the good versus evil concept for the modern audience but aside from the costumes, that's about it. This film laughs at itself from start to finish, it takes the clever humor of Iron Man and smashes it beyond recognition.
It thumbs its nose at the rest of the Marvel Universe and it reminds you of just exactly why you love those films to begin with. Deadpool is the comic book film that knows it's a comic book film and it loves reminding you of that.
This is the film that only could've been made after eight years' worth of Marvel Studios dominating the theaters. This is a bold statement of confidence not only in the characters but in the actors themselves. This is Ryan Reynolds showing his dedication to the source material and the filmmakers' willingness to take a chance and just have fun.
Deadpool doesn't feel like a movie that's supposed to break records; it feels like a twisted and indulgent love letter to fans that begged to see the character brought to life.
It's also proof positive that Marvel is indeed heading in the right direction. Combined with the success of Daredevil, Jessica Jones and the expanding Marvel Netflix Universe, Deadpool represents a new day for the comic book movie genre. These characters work in any medium when the creative forces are in tune with the books and the actors involved believe in what they're doing.
Deadpool worked and exceeded expectations. Imagine what could come next.