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‘Magic Mike’s Last Dance’ Opens to $8.2 Million on Slow Super Bowl Weekend

The NFL and the return of Ant-Man next weekend lead to a drop in business for movie theaters

Super Bowl weekend is historically a slow one for the box office, and this weekend has been no different. As most studios stepped away from the weekend, Warner Bros. took the No. 1 spot with Steven Soderbergh’s “Magic Mike’s Last Dance,” which earned $8.2 million opening from 1,500 theaters, according to industry estimates.

Originally produced as an HBO Max exclusive film, the third and intended final film in the “Magic Mike” trilogy was moved to theaters after the Warner Bros. Discovery merger, as CEO David Zaslav announced last year that the studio would recommit to theatrical releases. The film’s opening total sits in between last month’s $3.9 million opening of Warner/New Line’s remake “House Party”– also originally made for HBO Max — and the $12.8 million opening of “Magic Mike XXL” in 2015, which had a wider opening of around 3,350 theaters.

While the lower theater count for these streaming productions has drawn skepticism from some box office analysts, Warner Bros. says that it intends to increase the film’s theater count next weekend to take advantage of the Presidents’ Day holiday and that the current theater count was designed to allow “Magic Mike” fans to see the film with a larger audience.

While the film has the lowest critics Rotten Tomatoes score of any “Magic Mike” film at 46%, it is faring better in its audience score with 76%.

Warner also believes that any revenue lost from the usual drop in movie ticket sales on Super Bowl Sunday will be made up on Valentine’s Day, when romance films released in early February see a bump in years when Feb. 14 falls on a weekday. The studio also points to ancillary revenue increases from the “Magic Mike” live show in Las Vegas, Miami and London, reporting a 50% increase in ticket sales for the show over the last year that Warner attributes to the film’s release.

The next HBO Max production to make the pivot to theaters will be “Evil Dead Rise,” a New Line co-production that is the fifth film in the “Evil Dead” horror franchise with creator Sam Raimi as executive producer. Insiders at Warner say that the studio is planning to give that film a higher screen count than “Magic Mike 3” and “House Party” when it hits theaters on April 21, with the hopes that a South by Southwest premiere in March will help increase buzz for the film among horror fans.

Disney/20th Century’s “Avatar: The Way of Water” is in second with $6.9 million earned in its final weekend with major premium format support before those formats move to “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” on Friday. The film now has a total of $646.9 million domestic and $2.213 billion worldwide.

That global total would have been enough for “Avatar 2” to pass fellow James Cameron film “Titanic” on the all-time worldwide charts, were it not for Paramount’s 25th anniversary re-release of that Best Picture Oscar winner this weekend. “Titanic” made $6.4 million in North America from that re-release, bringing its lifetime domestic total to $665 million and lifetime global total to $2.217 billion, keeping it ahead of “Avatar 2” on the global charts by approximately $4 million.

Paramount/Fifth Season’s sports comedy “80 for Brady” is in fourth as the studio and major theater chains continue to experiment with selling tickets for all screenings of the film at matinee price. The film saw a 50% drop from its opening weekend for a $6.1 million total and a 10-day cume of approximately $25 million.

Universal/DreamWorks’ “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” completes the top 5 with $5.5 million to bring its total to $158.4 million domestic and $393 million worldwide. Despite a sluggish Christmas launch in the face of a holiday polar vortex, “Puss in Boots 2” has legged out immensely thanks to its critical and audience acclaim and is on the verge of passing the $162 million domestic/$408 million global total of Illumination’s “Sing 2” last year.

In a narrow race for that No. 5 spot is another Universal release, M. Night Shyamalan’s “Knock at the Cabin,” also with a $5.5 million total. Tepid word-of-mouth combined with the Super Bowl siphoning away younger audiences, has led to a 61% drop from the film’s No. 1 opening weekend, giving it a $23.4 million 10-day domestic total.