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Thanks to female fans, Channing Tatum‘s raucous R-rated comedy Magic Mike XXL opened to $9.3 million at the Wednesday box office, enough to beat Terminator: Genisys and shimmy up the pole to top the North American box office.
But both films are pacing to do less business than expected over the long Fourth of July holiday, meaning that titans Inside Out and Jurassic World could win the three-day weekend unless the landscape changes and Magic Mike XXL or Genisys pops.
Magic Mike XXL has far less at stake that Terminator: Genisys, having cost Warner Bros. less than $15 million to make.
Genisys, with a production budget of $155 million and relying heavily on males, opened in the No. 2 spot Wednesday with $8.9 million for Paramount and David Ellison‘s Skydance, which are looking to relaunch the marquee franchise. (Ellison spearheaded acquiring the rights to the Terminator franchise.)
Heading into the long holiday stretch, Paramount counted on Genisys hitting $55 million for the five days in North America, but it may not get to $45 million (even $55 million wouldn’t have been a spectacular number). That includes $27 million-$28 million for the three-day weekend. For the movie to work, it will have to do sizable business internationally, where it’s launching in 60 percent of the marketplace this weekend.
Alan Taylor directed Genisys, with Arnold Schwarzenegger reprising his role as a Terminator. He stars opposite Emilia Clarke, who plays John Connor’s mother, Sarah, and Jason Clarke, who plays John Connor. Jai Courtney and J.K. Simmons co-star. This time out, John Connor sends Kyle Reese (Courtney) back in time to protect his mother, but things soon go awry.
Critics have been none too kind to the tentpole, while audiences gave it a B+ CinemaScore.
Magic MIke XXL, the sequel to Steven Soderbergh‘s sleeper hit, has fared better with critics and moviegoers, who gave it an A- CinemaScore. Tracking had suggested the sequel would earn $45 million-$50 million for the five days, but it may come in around $35 million, including $18 million-$20 million for the three days. It’s not a surprise that it won Wednesday, thanks to ardent fans.
The sequel was made this time without Matthew McConaughey, who played an undeniable role in turning Magic Mike into a sleeper hit in summer 2012 after the film opened to $39.1 million. But Tatum, himself a popular star and whose early career as a male stripper inspired the film series, did return, alongside Matt Bomer and Joe Manganiello. Gregory Jacobs directed.
July 2, 8:00 a.m. Updated with Wednesday numbers.
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