America is ready for some football, less so for movies, and Other Box Office News.
Note: this article originally ran on Set the Tape (link).
In case you’ve been living under a rock the last few weeks, then you know that the Superbowl was on Sunday and, as long-time BORes – I’m open to suggestions on the new Box Office Report fandom nickname – should be familiar with, that means a malnourished chart where all 10 films crossing $1 million is the indicator of a minor victory. To salt the wound even worse, next weekend sees the arrival of a new Marvel film which means this is the customary “get the hell out of dodge” slot for all major studios. Hence why, for the last few weekends, I’ve been playing up the chances of James Cameron’s Titanic returning to the summit of a weekend chart, 25 years after its initial monster run. Knock at the Cabin got booed out of theatres, Avatar would be in its ninth week, and Schrödinger’s Magic Mike kept being added then removed then re-added but in limited onto the release schedule. 3D 4DX Ultra Deluxe Turbo Re-Fix Titanic taking the top spot was very much in the realm of possibility. Plus, y’know, James Cameron is a mad God with immeasurable power he is at least benevolent enough to only use for making people watch his movies rather than, I dunno, nuking France.
Alas, not even Jimmy C can best those magical Channing Tatum hips as Magic Mike’s Last Dance pulled off the surprise #1 in convincing fashion! It did so with a series-worst debut of $8.2 million – compared to the original’s $39.1 million in 2012 and XXL’s (a perfect movie) $12.8 million in 2015 – but Warner Bros. made the baffling decision to only release Last Dance in, what they call, a “specially-curated” list of 1,500 theatres rather than go full saturation. Why? Who the hell knows since the demand for this originally-planned HBO Max movie was clearly there, the $5,466 PTA was the best of any major release this weekend by a landslide. Then again, Warner Bros. are in the business right now of making baffling decisions and it’s the one business of theirs which is booming. Titanic settled into third-place, behind Avatar but also earning enough, with its $6.4 million, to keep The Way of Water behind on the all-time domestic charts just a little bit longer which is very funny.
Fun Fact: according to The Numbers, this is the first time that one director has had two of their films in the Top 3 of a chart since the 16th July 1982 when Steven Spielberg held down #1 and #2 with the sixth-week of E.T. and a year-later re-release of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Shit, maybe I need to shift my old “Disney can buy and sell you, old man” gag over to James Cameron.
I had a bad cold all weekend which meant I could not see Magic Mike. My body is confirmed homophobic. Here’s a Full List.
US Box Office Results: Friday 10th February 2023 – Sunday 12th February 2023
1] Magic Mike’s Last Dance
$8,200,000 / NEW
I regret to inform you all that teenagers are having DISCOURSE about all sex scenes in movies being “exploitative” and “pointless” on Twitter again. I try really hard, but these doofuses are going to turn me into an Angry Old (Not-a-)Man Yelling at Kids on Their Lawn if they keep this shit up.
2] Avatar: The Way of Water
$6,884,000 / $646,919,731
Not reviewing it cos we don’t do single-episode reviews here on STT for the most part, but the Very Problematic Harley Quinn Valentine’s Special was a complete riotous blast and if Warner Bros. try to take this show from me it will be ON SIGHT.
$6,400,000 / $666,077,684
I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again since we’ve seemingly normalised this crap now: I do not see the appeal of 4DX at all. Why, if I wanted to watch a movie, would I actively decide to detract from the experience by having the seats constantly jerk and crap be sprayed in my face every 90 seconds like I’m riding one of those rubbish video rollercoasters at low-rent theme parks? At no point during my viewings of Titanic over the years have I ever felt like what was missing from Jack and Rose’s sex-scene were whirring seat yanks and a fan blasting air directly into my face. I’m fully willing to rescind my virulent scepticism about the “format” should someone pay me money to go to a 4DX screening and “objectively” write up the experience, but otherwise it can get stuffed. Every 4DX screen is one that could be playing a proper movie which doesn’t normally get multiplex releasing!
4] 80 for Brady
$6,001,000 / $24,970,658
Kelechi Ehenulo had work to deal with on Monday morning, but stayed up to watch the Superbowl anyway. Now that I’ve publicly ruined her cover story for not being at work on-time – assuming she didn’t just pull an all-nighter/already book off half the Monday/make it to work on-time anyway – let me link you to her review of Blade Runner 2039 issue #3 in a desperate attempt to make-good.
5] Knock at the Cabin
$5,501,000 / $23,446,995
A 61% sophomore weekend drop, from just a $14 million debut, that will likely put Knock behind Puss in Boots once Actuals come in is some big YIKES.
6] Puss in Boots: The Last Wish
$5,500,000 / $158,495,205
Whilst this cold keeps me from finally getting to see what all the Puss fuss is about, allow me to mention that The Legend of Vox Machina’s sophomore season has been some darn great telly. Turns out I’ve had an unknown hankering for proper earnest full-fledged fantasy as of late, and Vox Machina goes FULL-FANTASY this season. Amy Walker’s already finished up and has some thoughts worth reading!
7] A Man Called Otto
$2,625,000 / $57,405,474
I’m back writing anniversary pieces for music again! This time commemorating the 10th birthday of Foals’ big mainstream breakthrough, Holy Fire. Editors on the web, please pay me to write about music. 2023 marks the first major year where I get some “oh, GOD, I’m getting OLD” reactions to anniversaries since 2013 was when I became A Music Person; that’s prime-time for writing! Hit me up!
$2,600,000 / $26,626,121
Ben Greenland’s monthly listicle retrospectives on the best and worst of each Doctor Who Doctor continue apace with Peter Davison!
$2,371,000 / $90,928,550
Nina Williams looks like a fucking badass in her Tekken 8 trailer and I will hear no slander on my (alternate) girl. (Yes, it’s true, I’m a filthy Asuka Kazama main; I FEEL NO SHAME!) Also, as an indicator of just how empty my life is, I recognised straight away that those are brand-new effort voice clips. Almost 20 years on from Tekken 5, each new game using the exact same effort sounds for every character (except Ling Xiaoyu for some reason), and they’ve FINALLY CHANGED THEM! IT’S THE END TIMES, PEOPLE!
$1,185,000 / $30,769,868
Sequel on the way called Ship. I hope that one has a post-credits sequence introducing Keanu Reeves for the threequel, a Speed remake they call Bus for both franchise branding continuity and to make that one Simpsons gag obsolete.
Dropped out: BTS: Yet to Come in Cinemas, The Chosen Season 3 Finale, Pathaan
Callie Petch; “ho” accusations weak, “bitch” accusations true.