Thursday Update: The projected location count for Magic Mike’s Last Dance has been updated in the chart below.
Wednesday Report: It’s not a weekend exhibitors particularly look forward to each year with the certainty of deflated Sunday box office at hand, but 2023’s Super Bowl frame will at least provide a couple of counter-programming options in hopes of softening the blow.
In broad terms, the good news is that — one week before Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania looks to score a $100 million-plus debut — the market shouldn’t be far off from either 2022 or 2019’s Super Bowl weekend grosses.
Last year’s top ten earned $50.4 million, while the pre-pandemic big game weekend drew $52.1 million four years ago. 2020’s Super Bowl weekend drew $64.6 million on the back of a strong start to the year before the pandemic took hold weeks later.
As individual releases go, first up is last week’s top film Knock at the Cabin, which appears likely to see it slight under-performance turn into a sharp drop as the male-driven thriller is being met with mixed audience and critic reception. The film’s opening earnings have been one of the few relative missteps of an early 2023 market that has otherwise performed up to, if not above, expectations.
To be fair, however, Cabin‘s box office hopes ballooned in part because of M. Night Shyamalan’s history when delivering crowd-pleasing films combined with the nature of genre films to over-perform in recent times. Buzz didn’t come to fruition, but ultimately, Knock had a modest $20 million budget, leaving it on course to be a financial victory for Universal even if theater owners had hoped for a little more punch.
Paramount’s 80 for Brady, however, met the high end of forecasts in its debut last week and should be able to leverage its healthy 90 percent audience score into legs with the older female-driven audience. It won’t be immune from Super Bowl impact or some crossover competition from the front-loaded new releases, but the film is at least in a position to weather the brief drop-off on Sunday.
Among new releases this weekend, two films get a jump on Valentine’s Day (next Tuesday) by providing fresh theatrical content for adult women over the sporting weekend.
Warner Bros.’ Magic Mike’s Last Dance is the slight favorite to come out on top of the box office field this weekend, though a muted promotional and distribution strategy by the studio have softened what used to be more bullish forecasts and created some volatility in expectations.
At the time of publishing, sources report that Warner is only releasing Last Dance at close to 2,000 domestic locations. By comparison, the same studio released the franchise’s prior sequel, Magic Mike XXL, in 3,376 venues back in July 2015 when that pic opened to a $12.9 million three-day weekend after a midweek bow.
The latest tracking, social buzz, and pre-sale observations indicate some backloading for Last Dance. Despite its nature as a three-quel and the Super Bowl likely impacting late weekend attendance, Valentine’s Day and “girls night out” audience mentality could help it see a stronger preview-to-Friday ratio than might otherwise be typical for a franchise movie.
Magic Mike’s Last Dance begins previews on Thursday at 5pm.
Meanwhile, James Cameron’s Titanic gets a 25th anniversary re-issue replete with a 4K remaster and another 3D conversion. The film’s last high profile re-release back in 2012 occurred in a different era of moviegoing relative to the state of the market today, so its $17.3 million three-day Easter weekend bow probably isn’t apt for comparison.
More recently, Cameron’s Avatar went back to cinemas last September to the tune of $10.5 million in its first weekend back. That’s closer to what’s reasonably expected of Titanic this weekend, though possible still on the high end with the latter facing Super Bowl impact and not having the same widespread IMAX footprint as Avatar‘s re-issue last year.
Titanic sets sail with previews beginning at 3pm on Thursday.
Opening Weekend Ranges
Magic Mike’s Last Dance
Opening Weekend Range: $10 – 15 million
Titanic (25th Anniversary Re-Release)
Opening Weekend Range: $6 – 11 million
Weekend Forecast & Location Count Projections
Current projection ranges call for a 23 to 33 percent decline from last weekend’s $72.2 million top ten aggregate.
|Film||Studios||3-Day Weekend Forecast||Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, February 12||Fri Location Count Projection (as of Wed)||3-Day % Change from Last Wknd|
|Magic Mike’s Last Dance||Warner Bros. Pictures||$12,000,000||$12,000,000||~1,600*||NEW|
|Titanic (25th Anniversary Re-Release)||Paramount Pictures||$8,200,000||$8,200,000||~1,800||NEW|
|80 for Brady||Paramount Pictures||$6,800,000||$25,200,000||~3,912||-46%|
|Avatar: The Way of Water||Disney & 20th Century Studios||$6,700,000||$646,700,000||~3,000||-41%|
|Puss in Boots: The Last Wish||Universal Pictures & DreamWorks Animation||$5,600,000||$158,600,000||~3,100||-29%|
|Knock at the Cabin||Universal Pictures||$5,300,000||$23,200,000||~3,643||-62%|
|A Man Called Otto||Sony & Columbia Pictures||$2,700,000||$57,500,000||~3,000||-36%|
|M3GAN||Universal Pictures & Blumhouse||$2,200,000||$90,800,000||~2,500||-43%|
|Missing||Sony & Screen Gems||$2,100,000||$26,100,000||~2,200||-43%|
* denotes updated estimate on Thursday (down from 2,000)
All forecasts are subject to revision/finalization before the first confirmation of opening previews or Friday estimates from studios or official sources.
Theater counts are either studio estimates OR unofficial projections if preceded by “~”.
The above table does not necessarily represent the top ten as some studios do not finalize weekend location counts and/or an intent to report box office returns prior to publishing.