As is customary on Super Bowl weekend, the box office is seeing a serious slowdown as this weekend’s No. 1 film, Warner Bros.’ “Magic Mike’s Last Dance,” is projected to top the charts with an opening weekend of $8 million, according to industry estimates.
Originally greenlit as an HBO Max exclusive film before pivoting to a theatrical release following the Warner Bros. Discovery merger, “Magic Mike’s Last Dance” is opening slightly above “Marry Me,” the Universal romcom starring Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson that opened to $7.9 million on Super Bowl weekend last year. It’s not an exact comparison, as “Marry Me” was a day-and-date release on Peacock and in 3,642 theaters while “Magic Mike 3” is a theatrical exclusive with a smaller 1,550 theater count.
Insiders at Warner say that the smaller screen count was a deliberate move to give fans of “Magic Mike” and lead star Channing Tatum a chance to see a film in a full theater rather than dilute the audience across a wider spread of theaters in each city. The film has received mixed reviews with a 46% Rotten Tomatoes score but has done better among moviegoers with an audience score of 75%.
Farther down the weekend charts are a pair of James Cameron films that stand on the all-time Top 5 box office list: “Avatar: The Way of Water” and “Titanic.” “The Way of Water” is currently projected to take second with $7.1 million in its ninth weekend. This will also be the final weekend in which “Avatar 2” has a significant presence in premium format theaters, as those will be taken over by Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” next week.
“Titanic,” which has been re-released by Paramount in 2,464 theaters for its 25th anniversary, is estimated to earn $6.1 million this weekend. That would bring the Best Picture Oscar-winning film’s lifetime domestic box office total to $665 million.
In between the Cameron films is Paramount’s “80 for Brady,” which is continuing its experiment of offering matinee prices for all screenings at major chains. The film is expected to drop 50% from its opening weekend for a $6.3 million second weekend total and a $25.2 million 10-day total.