During what looks like a historically slow weekend at the domestic box office, the one-night-only theatrical event managed to break into the top 10. The fight earned $2.6 million from 534 theaters.
That’s slightly more than the first frame of “Birth of the Dragon” — which screened all weekend long from more than three times the location count. On Saturday, the fight scored the third biggest night in theaters behind “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” ($3.9 million) and “Annabelle: Creation” ($2.8 million).
The price of admission was steeper than your average movie ticket — an adult pass cost about $40 each. That’s compared to the $99.95 price fans turned over to watch the match on pay-per-view TV. The theatrical event was a partnership between Fathom Events and Mayweather Promotions. The two have partnered before on theatrical screenings of fights in the past.
Mayweather won the fight, touted as one of the biggest sports events of the year, by knocking out McGregor in the 10th round. His record now stands at 50-0.
The screenings in theaters began at 6 p.m. PT. In part due to technical issues Showtime and UFC had with the PPV model, the fight did not actually commence until after 9:15 p.m. PT, or after midnight on the East Coast.
While the theatrical rollout was a win, the total earnings will pale in comparison with those from PPV, even after taking a hit from those impacted by the glitch. Official numbers for PPV earnings will be available later in the week, but early estimates showed the match could reap as much as $1 billion in revenues.