“Terminator Genisys” and “Magic Mike XXL” are on a collision course heading into the July 4th weekend, but neither film is providing the kind of spark to ticket sales that Hollywood had expected to see over the country’s birthday.
For the time being, “Magic Mike XXL” has a slight edge on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s latest comeback attempt. The stripper sequel danced its way on Wednesday to a $9.3 million opening, a figure that includes the $2.4 million that “Magic Mike XXL” generated in Tuesday evening shows. It bowed on 3,355 screens.
For its part, “Terminator Genisys” shot up $8.9 million in its first full day from 3,758 locations, 363 of which are Imax venues. That sum also includes the $2.3 million that the action adventure garnered during Tuesday night screenings. Both pictures could make north of $40 million over their first five days in theaters. That’s less than the $45 million to $50 million gross that “Magic Mike XXL” was originally expected to bump and grind to, and it falls short of the $55 million that “Terminator Genisys” was predicted to rack up.
“Magic Mike XXL” still stands to be profitable even if it misses initial projections. Warner Bros. produced the R-rated male dancer drama for a modest $14.8 million, a fraction of the $155 million that Paramount and Skydance Productions shelled out to try to revive the Terminator franchise. That hefty pricetag means that “Terminator Genisys” will need to get a boost from foreign audiences to avoid being one of the summer’s biggest disappointments. To that end, Paramount is rolling out the film in a number of foreign markets, representing 60% of the international landscape. In addition to Schwarzenegger, “Terminator Genisys” stars Emilia Clarke, Jason Clarke, and Jai Courtney. Alan Taylor (“Thor: The Dark World”) directs the time-bending saga.
Critics preferred “Magic Mike XXL” to “Terminator Genisys,” handing it a 59% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, compared with 26% for the cyborg follow-up. The first “Magic Mike” was a surprise summer breakout, earning nearly $40 million during its initial weekend in theaters. The follow-up brings back stars Channing Tatum, Joe Manganiello and Matt Bomer, with an eye toward providing some “girls night out” fun. Gregory Jacobs takes over directing duties from Steven Soderbergh, who has turned his back on film in favor of television and other artistic endeavors.
The two new wide releases face fierce competition from holdovers “Inside Out” and “Jurassic World,” both of which could end up outpacing the newbies. “Jurassic World” surpassed the $500 million domestic mark on Sunday, and “Inside Out” crossed $200 million on Tuesday. The continued strength of these blockbusters is good news for the industry, because it appears the box office is going to have less to celebrate this Independence Day.