As an avid movie fan, I am very rarely caught off guard by box-office results, but since I’ve been looking forward to Magic Mike (because I’m one of those laaawbreakers) to an absurd degree, that’s exactly what happened this weekend. What is this Ted that you speak of? Oh right, it’s that movie for which Mila Kunis walked the red carpet last week. Silly me. The big winner this weekend was indeed Ted with an estimated $54.1 million in ticket sales even though it was a movie about a foul-mouthed stuffed bear who hangs out with Mark Wahlberg.
However, Magic Mike also did much better than expected even though it came in at second place. Basically, all of the dudes went and watched the teddy bear film while da ladies went for the stripper movie. Go figure.
Enough of the bear talk though. Let’s talk about the future of “male objectification” movies that will spring forth from the loins of Magic Mike, which actually fared very well on its $7 million budget to rake in an estimated $39.155 million, which — if the numbers are correct — will beat Soderbergh’s previous opening weekend record of $39.154 million for Ocean’s Twelve. That means that a male stripper movie would have beaten all of Soderbergh’s other pictures, including not only all of the Ocean’s films but also Erin Brockovich and Contagion (a.k.a., “The One With Goop’s Crazy Stroke-Face”). Not too shabby, Mr. Soderbergh:
After nearly two months of Summer movies targeted at younger audiences, this weekend served as a good reminder that adults like to go to the theater too. Seth MacFarlane’s Ted scored one of the best R-rated comedy debuts ever, while R-rated male stripper flick Magic Mike proved to be a very attractive option.
Ted scored a very impressive $54.1 million from 3,239 locations. That bests the first Hangover movie’s $44.98 million for highest debut ever for an original R-rated comedy. Among all R-rated movies it ranks eighth all-time, and it ranks third among comedies behind The Hangover Part II and Sex and the City.
Ted’s success is due primarily to the strength of its broadly-appealing, completely original premise: what’s not to like about a foul-mouthed, pot-smoking teddy bear hanging out with Mark Wahlberg? It didn’t hurt that this felt like a logical transition to the big screen for “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane, and previews maintained the general humor of that show while clearly bringing something new to the table.
According to Universal’s exit polling, Ted‘s audience skewed male (56 percent) and younger (52 percent were 30 years of age and under). They awarded the movie a very good “A-” CinemaScore, which implies that strong word-of-mouth should help Ted play well for at least the next month or so.
Magic Mike had to settle for second place behind Ted, though its estimated $39.16 million was a very impressive tally indeed. It’s the third Channing Tatum movie this year to open north of $36 million, and if estimates hold it will become director Steven Soderbergh’s highest opening ever ahead of Ocean’s Twelve ($39.15 million).
This is a great initial showing for the somewhat artsy male stripper movie, and credit belongs to Warner Bros. for selling the hell out of it. The aspirational plot, which can be a bit of a downer, was largely ignored in favor of glimpses at stripping scenes involving an assortment of outrageous outfits. Instead of portraying the dark, seedy side of the movie’s world, the ads focused on the fun and excitement (not to mention plenty of abs). Late in the game, as the movie was building steam, Warner Bros. ramped up the “event movie” signals to try and get large groups of women to ditch their boyfriends and head to the movies. As expected, the men didn’t really come along: the audience was 73 percent women, and 57 percent under the age of 35.
[From Box Office Mojo]
Did I watch Magic Mike over the weekend? Hell yes. As promised, there was plenty of male nudity to be found (Vulture has made a handy set of graphs to illustrate the point).
I’m not going to really go in-depth with an analysis of this movie because what I enjoyed about it was what the trailers promoted — filthy, filthy dancing by barely dressed men. Channing Tatum (or if you prefer, Charming Potato) nearly charmed my pants off, and I received a much needed, quick-and-dirty Matthew McConaughey fix. However, the marketing of this movie was rather deceptive in that it’s a fairly dramatic movie with some heavy themes on drug use and falling down the spiral, particularly in the case of Alex Pettyfer’s character, who is nicknamed “The Kid.” Honestly, all I wanted to see were some attractive (for once, unlike in reality) male strippers gyrating and taking their clothes off. And I got what I wanted, but I still left the movie feeling somewhat depressed at the end. So while Magic Mike delivers what it promises, it’s also a bit of a lady-boner killer too. Still, I think it’s great that the movie already obliterated its budget, which means that we’ll hopefully get more movies with attractive, nearly naked dudes on display. Overall, that’s a win.
Photos courtesy of AllMoviePhoto
Written by Bedhead
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