MLK Weekend Box Office: ‘Avatar 2’ & ‘M3GAN’ To Prevail Despite Onslaught Of Gerard Butler’s ‘Plane’; ‘House Party’ & ‘Otto’ Expansion

James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water will reign supreme in its fifth weekend over the four-day MLK holiday frame with an estimated take around $35M.

The Disney/20th Century Studios/Lightstorm title through yesterday raised its running total to $525.66M after a $4.5M Tuesday. The sequel will feasibly overtake the domestic total of its comp, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which finaled at $533.5M, in the next few days. Disney continues to have a majority of the PLFs and Dolby auditoriums. Last weekend’s saw 65% of its $45.8M take coming from premium formats.

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Meanwhile, M3GAN, even though its on a 17-day theatrical window to PVOD, won’t stop. The Atomic Monster-Blumhouse title, which through yesterday counts $35M through five days, is expected to ring up between $17M-$20M in its second frame over the Friday-Monday span.

In regards to the new stuff Lionsgate’s Gerard Butler movie, Plane, at 3,000 plus theaters is expected to do the best with a $7M-$10M take over the four days. The pic is 64% fresh with critics on Rotten Tomatoes which is better than the 34% Rotten they gave to Butler’s pre-pandemic Angel Has Fallen. Critics didn’t weigh that movie down which saw a $21.3M start in late August and a $69M domestic take.

The movie follows pilot Brodie Torrance (Butler) who saves his passengers from a lightning strike by making a risky landing on a war-torn island – only to find that surviving the landing was just the beginning. When most of the passengers are taken hostage by dangerous rebels, the only person Torrance can count on for help is Louis Gaspare (Mike Colter), an accused murderer who was being transported by the FBI. In order to rescue the passengers, Torrance will need Gaspare’s help, and will learn there’s more to Gaspare than meets the eye. Jean-Francois Richet directs. Previews start today at 7PM, with more previews tomorrow on Thursday at 7PM.

Sony will expand its Tom Hanks drama A Man Called Otto to 3,800 locations. Early access shows are Thursday at 2PM. The pic, currently in its second week at 637 theaters, counts a running total of $5.4M. The outlook for the wide break of the Marc Forster directed title is $8M. Audiences like it better than critics on Rotten Tomatoes, 97% fresh to 67% fresh.

In the first of many titles pulled from HBO Max for a theatrical release, Warner Bros is opening New Line’s reboot of House Party at 1,300 locations on Friday. Warner Discovery CEO David Zaslav believes in the theatrical window and that will trigger better results for movie in its subsequent downstreams. The pic, a remake of the 1990 original, is directed by Calmatic and has an outlook in the mid-single digits. In House Party, a high school student decides to host a house party while his parents are away. The other initiative behind this HBO Max reversal distribution plan is Warners providing content to theaters as they greatly need it. The previous trilogy, the first title of which launched in 1990, has collectively grossed close to $65M stateside. House Party is on a 17-day theatrical window until PVOD, and 45 days until hitting HBO Max. Previews start at 5PM on Thursday.

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