Remember those Independence Day weekends at the box office when records were set? Well, this weekend isn’t going to be one of them.
At the high end of the July 4 holiday, you have former titans such as Paramount’s Transformers: Dark Of The Moon raking in $180.7M over six days in 2011 or Sony’s Spider-Man 2 posting a six-day bow of $180.1M in 2004. However, label this weekend as another case of too-close-to-call. It couldn’t be worse with Independence Day falling on a Saturday, and no extra days for pics to make moolah. Even if it rains in some parts of the country, that’s not a 100% guarantee to dynamite families away from their barbecues.
The two holdovers — Universal’s Jurassic World and Disney/Pixar’s Inside Out — as well as the two wide entries — Paramount’s Terminator Genisys and Warner Bros.’ Magic Mike XXL — are expected to be in a stacked race, each making $45M-$50M. Their three-day hauls are also too tight to call, each making $27M-$30M.
Magic Mike XXL starring Channing Tatum could have the last laugh, particularly in regards to profit: The film was reportedly made for $14.8M, a little more than double the original’s $7M. The first Magic Mike directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Matthew McConaughey blew away everyone’s expectations at the time and made $39.1M in its first weekend on its way to $113.7M stateside. Magic Mike XXL is going out in 3,355 venues and previews kick off tomorrow night at 7 PM. The buzz coming from a Las Vegas preview screening was that the audience was hooting and hollering. Tracking shows Magic Mike XXL the strongest among women under and over 25 (at 83% and 84%, respectively).
Terminator Genisys, with a reported budget of $155M, is going out in 3,700 locations with some extra Imax ammunition behind it. The Arnie party starts at 7 PM tomorrow in 2,700 venues. At this point in time, pre-sales at the three top theater chains — Regal, AMC and Cinemark — are in favor of Magic Mike XXL; north of $1.45M. As a demo, older women are known to have their acts together more than the guys and schedule their moviegoing in advance while younger women head to the multiplex in packs. By comparison, Terminator Genisys is around $400K in pre-sales.
Producer Megan Ellison won the rights to make at least two Terminator films prior to Cannes 2011 in a deal worth an estimated $20M. However, by January 2014 she divested herself from the franchise with her brother David Ellison’s Skydance Productions taking over financing on the next 2-3 titles with co-funding from Paramount. Arnold Schwarzenegger is back for his fourth go-round (fifth if you count his cameo in Warner Bros.’ 2009 Terminator Salvation, which posted a five-day Memorial Day weekend gross of $65.3M), however, the Connors have been re-cast with Game Of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke playing Sarah, Jason Clarke as John, and Jai Courtney as time-traveling protector Kyle Reese.
At one point in their cycle, Terminator films were a standard during the Independence Day B.O. frame just like hots dogs and hamburgers. The third chapter, Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines, made $44M over its first FSS and $72.4M over five days in 2003, making it Schwarzenegger’s biggest bow. A dozen years earlier, Terminator 2: Judgement Day made $31.8M in its first FSS and a five-day of $52.3M.
As previously reported, Jurassic World crossed $500M in a record 17 days, beating 2012’s Avengers which took 23 days. JW made $54.5M in its third weekend with a $500.37M total cume, Disney Pixar’s Inside Out grossed $52.3M in Weekend 2 with a cume of $185.1M, Uni’s Ted 2 opened to $33.5M, and Warner Bros./MGM’s Max made $12.2M.