Box Office: ‘Magic Mike 3’ Wins Super Bowl Weekend With $8.2M But ‘Avatar 2,’ ‘Titanic’ Close Behind
Magic Mike’s Last Dance won Super Bowl weekend at the domestic box office with an estimated $8.2 million, the lowest showing of the three films in the Channing Tatum franchise.
However, Last Dance is playing in far fewer theaters — 1,550 cinemas is a modest number for a high-profile studio release — than the first two titles since it was made for streaming and not the big screen.
The box office always takes a hit because of the Super Bowl on Sunday. Hollywood studios generally avoid releasing event pics, or movies that target males. (The Magic Mike series, which comes out in advance of Valentine’s Day, has always skewed heavily female.)
Overseas, the threequel started off with $10.4 million from its first 18 markets for a global start of $18.6 million.
Warner Bros. didn’t report numbers for Magic Mike’s Last Dance until Sunday — usually, grosses are visible throughout the weekend — a practice it also employed for House Party, which likewise pivoted and opened in theaters versus on HBO Max. In the case of Last Dance, sources speculate that the studio wants to minimize comparisons to the previous films. A theatrical release puts more pressure on Tatum and director Steven Soderbergh since box office grosses are made public, while HBO Max viewing stats are generally not.
In 2012, Soderbergh’s first Magic Mike dazzled when debuting domestically to $39.1 million from 3,920 theaters on its way to grossing a dizzying $167.3 million globally. But 2016’s Magic Mike XXL, which the filmmaker didn’t direct, opened to far less — $12.8 million from 3,355 theaters — before topping out at just under $118 million worldwide. The notable decline could help to explain why the third film was conceived for streaming.
Magic Mike 3‘s location average of $5,467 was more than twice that of the last film, but below the first movie ($6,611) despite the dramatic difference in theater count.
During the heart of the pandemic, former parent company Warner Media caused an uproar when announcing its entire 2021 slate of movies would open simultaneously on HBO Max and in theaters. The importance of theatrical was one of the first things Warner Bros. Discovery chief David Zaslav stressed when taking over. Like Magic Mike 3, the HBO Max-conceived House Party reboot likewise pivoted and received a theatrical release last month.
All three Magic Mike films star Tatum in the titular role. In the new movie, his character is hired by a wealthy divorcée, played by Salma Hayek, to help with a London stage production.
The other headline at the box office this weekend is the showdown between James Cameron’s two blockbusters, Avatar: The Way of Water and Titanic. The Way of the Water is still a formidable player at the box office, while a remastered 3D version of Titanic is being released in time for Valentine’s Day and in celebration of the film’s 25th anniversary.
From 20th Century and Disney, The Way of Water placed No. 3 domestically with an estimated $6.9 million. Overseas, it earned another $18.9 million for a worldwide tally of $2.213 billion.
But thanks to the rerelease of Titanic, it will take a few more days for The Way of Water to overtake the 1997 film at the global box office in an embarrassment of riches for Cameron. Titanic came in No. 4 domestically with $6.4 million for a worldwide tally of $2.217 billion after also grossing $15.9 million overseas. (In total, the rerelease earned an impressive $22.3 million for the weekend.) Paramount is handling the movie domestically, while 20th Century/Disney have overseas duties.
Titanic is presently No. 3 on the list of history’s top-grossing films behind Avengers: Endgame and Cameron’s Avatar, which sits at No. 1, not adjusted for inflation. Way of Water is currently No. 4.
Paramount and Fifth Season’s Super Bowl-themed sports comedy 80 for Brady, now in its second weekend, came in No. 4 with an estimated $6 million for a domestic tally of $25 million.
Illumination and Universal’s Puss in Boots: The Last Wish rounded out the top five with $5.5 million as it neared the $400 million mark globally (through Sunday, its global tally is $393.7 million).