Monday Morning Quarterback Part II

By BOP Staff

July 3, 2012

My arm hurts. I can't play for Orlando anymore.

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Ladies' Night

Kim Hollis: Magic Mike, the male stripper movie that everyone knew Steven Soderberg would eventually make(?) opened to $39.1 million. How surprised are you by this result?

Jason Barney: Again, I would have to say pretty surprised. This one easily could have been a miss, but there it is with already $40 million under its belt. Perhaps this is a nod to just how much of a draw Channing Tatum is becoming. He was great in 21 Jump Street. There was the report about his character's situation being one of the reasons why GI Joe was moved to next March. He is on a roll, no doubt.

That said, for him and the rest of the cast to carry a movie like this to box office gold on the weekend before July 4th is pretty crazy. The other surprising thing about the film is its rating at RT. If that many fans are liking it, you have to wonder how legs will play into the final box office numbers. This is a great time of year for people to pay money and go to the movies, so if word-of-mouth is positive, this one could see some pretty significant holds.

Bruce Hall: What, you didn't see the male stripper dramedy coming, after Contagion and Haywire? My understanding is that Magic Mike represents a significant personal investment of time and professional capital for both Sodeberg and Tatum, so there is no scenario concievable in which this is not a home run for everyone involved. Remember what I said when we talked about The Vow? C-Tates is a brand, now. Steadily improving actor, producer, and ab factory. Get ready to see a lot more of a manner of speaking.


Edwin Davies: If you had told me that the Tatum/Soderbergh stripper movie was going to open to this much back in January, when their previous team-up, Haywire, opened to $8 million and finished with just under $19 million, I would not have believed it. Based on the material, Soderbergh's track record as a director who makes consistently good or great work to wildly varying commercial results, and Channing's track record as someone who had largely failed to open movies (the only mainstream releases he was in last year were The Dilemma, which underperformed whether or not he was in it, and The Eagle, which sank without trace, and even earlier hits like Dear John could be considered successes for reasons other than his presence), this seemed like it would be lucky to gross $39 million in its entire run.

What a difference six months makes. We can pretty safely say, after the back to back successes of The Vow and 21 Jump Street, that Tatum is a bona fide draw. Both those films probably helped Magic Mike, too, since the former showed that he could be a romantic lead, and the latter showed that he could be pretty funny, both of which were strongly emphasized by the marketing for the film. The marketing in general has been very canny, turning the film into an event film akin to the Sex and the City movies; the marketing basically said go out with a group of friends, have a few drinks, then enjoy some beefcakes. That the film itself is just as much about the economic difficulties of being a stripper with dreams kind of didn't factor in the marketing at all, but the faintly naughty air that the trailer and ads sold to the public, coupled with Tatum's rising stardom, made for a perfect storm.

Basically, I'm less surprised by this result than I would have been had this film been released before The Vow or 21 Jump Street, since both those films laid the groundwork, but I'm still surprised that it managed to get this much.

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