TAGGED AS: Box Office, movies, news
The Super Bowl took a chunk out of the box office this weekend. Well, that and a near-complete avoidance of the weekend in general by Hollywood. Sure, there was a re-release of a 25 year-old film right in time for Valentine’s Day on Tuesday. That was then countered with programming for the same audience that was initially headed for a home streamer, it barely got into half of the theaters playing a road trip movie about seeing a now-retired quarterback. Anyway, hope everyone enjoyed the game.
Steven Soderbergh’s Magic Mike’s Last Dance was the (somewhat) surprise victor at the box office this weekend. The third entry in the series (and second directed by Soderbergh) was initially headed for the HBO MAX life until a late turnaround last year that saw both it and the House Party remake regain a theatrical life. That said, when analysts saw the theater count for Last Dance (1,500), it appeared Warner Bros. was not making much of an effort on the series that has grossed nearly $180 million domestic already. Nevertheless, it danced into a Super Bowl weekend when last week’s films were poised for a drop and its best competition was a 25-year-old all-timer with a broader audience just before Valentine’s Day.
Tatum’s Mike Lane ended up pulling out $8.2 million in his opening weekend for a $5,466 per-theater-average. That is still one of the better post-2020 openings for a film released in under 2,000 venues behind Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train ($21.2 million), 2022’s Avatar re-release ($10.5 million), RRR ($9.5 million), and Netflix’s one-week Glass Onion experiment ($9.4 million). Warner Bros. is likely beating themselves up a little bit. This could have been full-on Super Bowl counter-programming, likely besting Magic Mike XXL’s $12.8 million start in 3,355 theaters back in summer 2015 (after an initial $15 million start on Weds & Thurs). Plus, that was a film that grew to over $66 million. Maybe additional theaters will book it next week as it is going to take a lot of singles to make up the reported $45+ million budget.
The 25th Anniversary re-release of James Cameron’s Titanic was an odds-on favorite to win the weekend by some, but it ended up not even beating out Avatar: The Way of Water in its ninth frame. The filmmaker’s original blockbuster earned $6.4 million over the weekend in 2,464 theaters, less than Avatar’s warm-up release last September ($10.5 million) in 1,860 theaters. That brings Titanic’s all-time theatrical total to over $665 million. Though it hopes for a solid Valentine’s Day on Tuesday, this may temporarily delay its plans to reach over $700 million lifetime domestic. It still needs another $12+ million to take over the seventh spot on the all-time list from Avengers: Infinity War. Previous re-releases of Avatar were enough to take back the No. 1 worldwide slot from Avengers: Endgame. Avatar: The Way of Water, meanwhile, made $6.8 million over the weekend, bringing its domestic total to nearly $647 million and its global tally over $2.213 billion, just behind, of all films, Titanic (now with $2.216 billion) for third place all time.
Last week’s battle for No. 1 moved in different directions once the weekend was over. From Monday on, 80 for Brady was the top film at the box office. It even surpassed Knock at the Cabin’s total gross by Tuesday. Tom Brady was not in the Super Bowl, and even his octogenarian fans may have had enough of him, as the film dropped 52% over the weekend down to $6 million. That brings its total to $24.9 million and aligns the film closely with the Will Ferrell basketball comedy Semi-Pro, which had $24.7 million in its first 10 days and a $5.78 million second weekend. Brady had a better mid-week trajectory than that film, so its total should still get past Semi-Pro’s $33.7 million and possibly match last year’s release of Death on the Nile, which started with $12.8 million and had a $6.5 million second frame to bring its total to $25.2 million. 80 for Brady’s trajectory should land it somewhere between $35-45 million, when it is going to need around another $60 million to break even.
The situation isn’t a whole lot better for M. Night Shyamalan’s Knock at the Cabin, never mind the fact the director’s new film was outgrossed by Tom Brady all week and through this weekend, as it dropped 61% down to $5.2 million. That is a pretty steep drop, given it only opened to $14.1 million, so word-of-mouth is not doing it any favors. It joins a growing list of films with the steepest drops after opening between $13-15 million, which includes the likes of the 2019 Child’s Play reboot (-68.6%), Gods of Egypt (-63.2%), Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (-62.1%), The Love Guru (-61.6%), and Zoolander 2 (-60.6%).
At present pace, Knock at the Cabin is going to end up the lowest-grossing film of Shyamalan’s post-Sixth Sense career with around $30-32 million. The good news is the $20 million-budgeted film would only need another $20 million past that on the international side to put it into the black, but only marginally, meaning audiences may have entered the “shame on me” portion of being fooled. Again.
Universal is much safer on the books with Puss In Boots: The Last Wish, which, if the estimates hold in its favor, will have spent its eighth-straight week in the top five with $5.5 million, driving its total to over $158 million. It is still very much headed for $180 million domestic, which alone would drive its international total over $400 million. The studio’s other winner, M3GAN, got itself over $90 million this weekend. As we have said for weeks, it is still headed for the mid-90s but will come up shy of hitting the $100 million mark.
Sony has watched the Tom Hanks film A Man Called Otto remain consistent, as it looks to get itself just over $60 million when it leaves the box office. It has grossed another $30 million internationally, but it will still need an additional $60 million or so to break even. The studio’s Missing, on the other hand, is already in profit, earning another $2.4 million this weekend. With $26.4 million, it is poised to outgross its predecessor, Searching.
The box office will return in a big way next week with Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania slated for the biggest opening of the year and likely the largest of the Paul Rudd series. An opening over $120 million will be more than enough to ensure it bests Ant-Man and the Wasp’s $216 million total haul. Also opening on Wednesday is a new Neil Jordan film, Marlowe, with Liam Neeson as Raymond Chandler’s hard-boiled detective. Open Road films, which has released other recent Liam Neeson vehicles like The Marksman and Memory, has not had a film open to $4 million since 2018’s Show Dogs. Will this be the one to break that funk?
49% Magic Mike's Last Dance (2023)
76% Avatar: The Way of Water (2022)
88% Titanic (1997)
61% 80 for Brady (2023)
67% Knock at the Cabin (2023)
95% Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (2022)
69% A Man Called Otto (2022)
88% Missing (2023)
93% M3GAN (2022)
77% Plane (2023)
Erik Childress can be heard each week evaluating box office on Business First AM with Angela Miles and his Movie Madness Podcast.
[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]
Thumbnail image by ©Warner Bros.