“Magic Mike’s Last Dance,” the third chapter in Channing Tatum’s steamroller series, topped an icy Super Bowl weekend at the box office, grossing $8.2 million from just 1,500 theaters in North America.
It’s the lowest start yet in the decades-old franchise after 2012’s Magic Mike (which opened with $39 million) and 2015’s Magic Mike XXL (which opened with $12.8 million). The first two installments were huge commercial hits, grossing $167 million and $117 million respectively in the economic budgets.
The third film, in which Tatum returns as a stripper with a heart of gold, was never intended for release in theaters. Warner Bros. is released. , which co-starred Salma Hayek Pinault, was made for HBO Max and given a production and marketing budget that matched the broadcast’s expectations. But once Discovery bought the company and David Zaslav took over as CEO, executives opted to stage “Last Dance” because of encouraging positive test screenings.
By bringing “Magic Mike 3” to the big screen, the price has ballooned to the $40 million range, so it will struggle to become profitable in its theatrical run. However, the film is expected to make more money from home entertainment than it would have done without playing in the multiplex.
“This is a soft start for a comedy-drama sequel,” says David A. Gross, who runs film consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research. He adds, “The ‘Magic Mike’ series has been very profitable; this theatrical release will add additional value to the ‘Magic Three Microphones’.”
Super Bowl weekend, the biggest TV event of the year, is rarely a busy time to go to the movies, and Sunday’s game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs is no exception. “Magic Mike’s Last Dance” and “Titanic,” which were re-released by Paramount in theaters in honor of the romantic epic’s 25th anniversary, were timed to Valentine’s Day on Tuesday, but they also served as counterprogramming against the big game.
“Titanic” sailed to third place with $6.3 million from 2,464 movie theaters, which isn’t bad for a movie that premiered on the big screen a quarter of a century ago and is still widely available at home. But it falls short of the recent re-release of 2009’s “Avatar,” which grossed $10 million last fall before the long-awaited sequel debuted.
It landed behind James Cameron’s blockbuster Different, “Avatar: The Way of Water,” which took in second place with $7 million from 3,065 theaters in its ninth weekend of release. To date, “Avatar 2” has grossed $647 million in North America and $2.176 billion worldwide.
Elsewhere, Paramount’s 80’s comedy “80 for Brady” remained strong in its sophomore outing, dropping 53% to add $6 million from 3,939 locations. The movie, which stars Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Rita Moreno, and Sally Field as best friends whose obsession with Tom Brady brings them to the Super Bowl, has grossed $24.9 million so far. It’s a pretty decent score for the $28 million movie, which is expected to continue to be a draw for older audiences in the coming weeks.
Two Universal Pictures titles, “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” and “Knock at the Cabin,” are tied for fifth, with each film grossing $5.5 million. The “Puss in Boots” sequel, which is now in its eighth weekend of release, has grossed $158 million to date. M. Night Shyamalan’s psychological thriller “Knock at the Cabin” grossed $23.4 million in its two weeks in theaters.
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