'Magic Mike' tops N. America box office but football wins out

Channing Tatum and Salma Hayek (AFP)

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Steven Soderbergh's new comedy-drama "Magic Mike's Last Dance" topped the North American box office this weekend with an estimated $8.2 million in ticket sales, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations said Sunday.

That rather paltry total for the Warner Bros. film, the third in the "Magic Mike" series starring Channing Tatum as a big-hearted stripper, was doubtless hurt by competition Sunday from football's Super Bowl, the year's most-watched US sporting event.

Analyst David A. Gross of Franchise Entertainment Research called it "a soft opening for a comedy drama sequel." It was the first time since September that the top film failed to hit double digits.

But one filmmaker -- James Cameron -- had nothing to complain about this weekend.

His "Avatar: The Way of Water" took in $6.9 million to place second for the Friday-through-Sunday period, while a remastered 3D version of his blockbuster "Titanic" placed third at $6.4 million -- the first time a director has simultaneously had two films in the top five.

Fourth place went to Paramount's "80 for Brady," at $6 million. Veteran actors Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Rita Moreno and Sally Field star as a group of friends traveling to watch famed NFL quarterback Tom Brady play in the 2017 Super Bowl.

And in fifth, off sharply from last weekend's top spot, was Universal's "Knock at the Cabin," at $4.4 million. The creepy thriller stars Jonathan Groff and Ben Aldridge as a couple whose vacation stay, with two young children, in a remote cabin is disturbed when a mystery man (Dave Bautista) comes to the door to issue a devastating warning.

Rounding out the top 10 were:

"Puss in Boots: The Last Wish" ($3.9 million)

"A Man Called Otto" ($2.6 million)

"Missing" ($2.6 million)

"M3GAN" ($1.7 million)

"Plane" ($1.2 million)