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Channing Tatum’s ‘Magic Mike XXL’ Outstrips ‘Terminator: Genisys’ but July 4 Box Office Could be Dud

The stripper sequel’s $9.3 million debut beats sci-fi reboot’s $8.9 million first day, but neither looks like a match for heavyweight holdovers

Channing Tatum‘s “Magic Mike: XXL” danced past Arnold Schwarzenegger and “Terminator: Genisys” in their first day at the box office Wednesday. But the numbers suggest they’ll have trouble lighting it up over the full July 4 weekend.

Warner Bros.’ “Magic Mike XXL” was No. 1 on Wednesday with $9.3 million, ahead of the $8.9 million that second-place “Terminator: Genisys” rolled up for Paramount and Skydance Productions. Those figures included their respective Tuesday night hauls of $2.4 million and $2.3 million, however, and that’s what put them ahead of heavyweight holdovers “Inside Out” and “Jurassic World.”

Take away the Tuesday grosses and it’s a different story, leaving “Magic Mike” with $7.1 million and “Genisys” at $6.6 million.

Pixar Animation’s “Inside Out,” which is heading into its third weekend, took in $7.3 million Wednesday and that would have made it the top film. “Jurassic World” numbers weren’t in yet, but it grossed $7.4 million for Universal Tuesday.

That suggests that neither new release is going to skyrocket over the next four days. With both “Magic Mike XXL” and “Terminator: Genisys” on pace to finish closer to $40 million than the $50 million that analysts had projected, the five-day July 4 weekend may be more sparkler than Roman candle.

That’s worse news for Paramount than Warner Bros., since “Terminator: Genisys” cost $155 million to make and has two sequels riding on it, while the “Magic Mike” sequel’s production budget was under $18 million, and it should still wind up in the black.

For “Terminator: Genisys” to avoid red ink, it will need strong overseas returns. The film debuts in roughly 60 percent of its markets this weekend.

The soft debuts don’t bode well for the overall box office, either. While it won’t be as bad as last year’s dud of a July 4 weekend, the worst in 26 years, 2015’s won’t one for the books. The fact that July 4 falls on a Saturday, when many potential moviegoers will likely be watching fireworks instead, is expected to knock attendance down by roughly one third.

The CinemaScore results for “Terminator: Genisys” are also revealing. It received an “A-” from audience members under 25, but a “B+” overall. That suggests it connected with young moviegoers looking for a sci-fi action tale, but may have let down older fans who recall the four earlier films in the franchise. First-night crowds awarded an “A-” CinemaScore to “Magic Mike XXL.”

“Magic Mike XXL” is in 3,355 theaters, while “Terminator: Genisys” is in 3,758 locations, 363 of which are IMAX venues.

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