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What’s Up With Magic Mike?

What's Up With Magic Mike?

Magic Mike opens tomorrow.  I didn’t get an invite to a screening (maybe someone at WB thought I wouldn’t be interested but I am) so I can’t say anything about the content but I have to take note of intense amount of interest in the film.  Katey Rich at Cinema Blend whose opinion I trust gave it 4.5 stars.  In general, Magic Mike is not exactly the type of film we write about here on Women and Hollywood.  It’s a movie about men and directed by a man.  But it seems that the audience for this film is going to be pretty much all women so it is worthy of looking at.

It kind of feels like this will be another event film like the first Sex and the City film where women went with a group of their friends and left the men at home.  I read an article yesterday where director Steven Soderbergh said that this was a movie for guys too and I just laughed.   It feels to me that this movie will repel men even more than a chick flick.

But the proof will be at the box office and if advance ticket sales are any indication this film will make a bundle.  First thing is that it was made for a price – only $5 million.  What make this different from so many movies about women directed by women that are made for a price is that this one is going to open on 2,900 screens.  Most $5 million movies open on a limited amount of screens, at least at the start.  On 2,900 screens it could gross between $30 and $40 million this weekend.  This is the money that Soderbergh will be retiring on.

Just in case you think I’m nuts, the folks at Fandango show that this Magic Mike momentum is real when they reported that over 50% of all their sales on Wednesday were for the film.  Here are some other stats from their poll of mainly women who were buying tickets to see Magic Mike:

  • 87% are planning to see it with a group of women;
  • 81% are 25-49 years old;
  • 82% plan to see it opening weekend
  • 78% said that “Magic Mike” is the summer movie they’re most excited to see on the big screen;
  • 77% feel that female-skewing movies have been lacking in Hollywood;
  • 68% are planning to attend some kind of get-together before or after the movie.So this movie will be successful since it is opening wide.  I can see a scenario happening where the guys go to see Ted and the women go to see Magic Mike.

I feel this film is on the same continuum for women as Fifty Shades of Grey and my friends at Fandango put in a question for me in the poll where they asked if people had read the books.  Fully one third of the people who bought tickets read the book.  That’s a lot.

This seems like it will be a bustling weekend at the box office for everyone.  Here’s Fandango editor-in-chief Chuck Walton’s thought: “The top two performers, ‘Magic Mike’ and “Brave”, show the effect of girl power at the box office. ‘Brave’ for young girls, and ‘Mike’ for the ladies.”

And by the way, many women I’ve spoken with (in my completely unscientific small universe) want to see this movie.  I want to see it.  It looks really fun.  Every movie where a woman plays a stripper is always such a downer (cause women always are made to feel like shit for being in that business) but this one just seems like a hoot.

Anyone else out there interested?

Steven Soderbergh on Magic Mike (Collider)

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