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film’s opening total sits in between last month’s $3.9 million opening of Warner/New Line’s remake “House Party”– also originally made for HBO Max — and the $12.8 million opening of “Magic Mike XXL” in 2015, which had a wider opening of around 3,350 theaters.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 designated to allow “Magic Mike” fans to see the film with a larger audience.
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 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.
More to eat…