Source: Warner Bros

‘Magic Mike’s Last Dance’

Stripping comedy-drama Magic Mike’s Last Dance shimmies its way into 646 UK-Ireland cinemas this weekend through Warner Bros – almost 150 cinemas above the previous Magic Mike’s opening number.  

Steven Soderbergh returns to direct the third and final Magic Mike instalment, having directed the first film and been cinematographer on the second.

In Last Dance, after a business deal leaves Channing Tatum’s Mike Lane broke and returning to the dance stage, he heads to London where a wealthy socialite has made him an offer he can’t refuse. Salma Hayek Pinault joins the cast, in a role that Thandiwe Newton was previously attached to play.

The first Magic Mike film opened to £2.7m through Lionsgate in 2012, in 449 locations at a £5,904 average, and finished on £8.4m.

Magic Mike XXL, directed by Gregory Jacobs, started with £1.6m in 2015 through Warner Bros, in 500 sites at a £3,150 average; and ended on £6.9m.

Tatum has reduced his acting output, from four films a year between 2013-2015, down to three credited on-screen roles between 2018 and 2022. However, he has previously proved his box office worth, both in comedy with 2012’s 21 Jump Street (£10.1m total) and 2014 sequel 22 Jump Street (£18.6m); and as a dancer, with 2006 breakthrough Step Up (£4.4m) and 2008’s Step Up 2 The Streets (£10.6m).

As family-friendly counter-programming, Studiocanal is opening animation Epic Tails in 537 sites. The French production is titled Argonuts in several international territories, and Pattie et la colère de Poséidon in its homeland. It follows an adventurous mouse and the cat she adopted, who help Jason and his Argonauts in their quest to save the city. 

Epic Tails is written and directed by David Alaux, Eric Tosti and Jean-Francois Tosti, for TAT Productions, the French company that has previously made features including last year’s Pil’s Adventures and 2019’s Astro Kid.

Titanic resurfaces

Disney is re-releasing James Cameron’s epic romance Titanic in 485 locations for the film’s 25th anniversary.


Source: Disney


Titanic was first released on January 23, 1998 in the UK and Ireland, in 416 locations, taking £4.9m at a £11,783 location average.

The film went on to £80.3m – surpassing the record UK-Ireland gross at the time by almost 54%. It held the title of highest-grossing UK-Ireland film for almost 12 years, until Cameron’s own Avatar broke it. 25 years after release, Titanic remains the 10th -highest-grossing title in the territory; and the only title in the top 25 films released prior to the 21st century. A successful run for the re-release could push it as high as seventh in the all-time chart, above 2019’s Avengers: Endgame  (£88.7m).

Fox International handled the original Titanic release, with the company subsequently taken over by Disney in 2019. In 1998, Disney had just four of the 30 highest-grossing films in the UK and Ireland, led by The Lion King in ninth place with £22.6m. The ensuing quarter-century has brought a significant swing towards the studio, which now holds 11 of the top 30 titles, including number one Star Wars: The Force Awakens with £123.3m.

Altitude is opening Georgia Oakley’s UK debut feature Blue Jean in 98 cinemas. Starring 2022 Screen Star of Tomorrow Rosy McEwen, Blue Jean is set in 1988 Britain under the Margaret Thatcher government, when a closeted teacher is pushed to the brink when a new student threatens to expose her sexuality.

The film debuted to significant critical acclaim in Venice’s Giornate degli Autori parallel section, where it won the people’s choice award. It subsequently went on to 13 nominations and four prizes at December’s British Independent Film Awards, including best debut screenwriter for Oakley and best lead performance for McEwen; and is nominated for outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer at next week’s Bafta Film Awards.

Abdullah Al-Arak’s Saudi comedy Sattar is opening in 10 Odeon cinemas, after the film’s MENA distributor Front Row Filmed Entertainment struck a revenue-sharing deal with the exhibitor this week. Sattar follows a man whose floundering personal and professional life prompts him to pursue his childhood dreams of becoming a freestyle wrestler. It was released in December in Saudi Arabia, and has already broken into the top 15 films of all time in the territory, where cinemas have only been open since 2018.

Limited releases this weekend include documentaries Nothing Lasts Forever from Dogwoof and Town Of Strangers from New Wave Films, each in one location.

Universal drama Women Talking is screening previews in 43 locations from tomorrow, ahead of its official opening next Friday, February 17. 

Universal’s Puss In Boots: The Last Wish became the first new number one since mid-December last time out, and leads the holdovers in its search for a £25m+ total; while Avatar: The Way Of Water continues to climb the all-time chart for Disney, and Bollywood action film Pathaan extends the record for an Indian film in the UK and Ireland.