Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Welcome Back To The Park: The First Trailer For 'Jurassic World' Is Here Welcome Back To The Park: The First Trailer For 'Jurassic World' Is Here New Character And Plot Details Emerge For 'True Detective' Season 2 As More Cast Members Confirmed New Character And Plot Details Emerge For 'True Detective' Season 2 As More Cast Members Confirmed James Gunn Says Shared Universe Model Is "Flawed," Plus Listen To "Awesome Mixtape Volume Zero" For 'Guardians' James Gunn Says Shared Universe Model Is "Flawed," Plus Listen To "Awesome Mixtape Volume Zero" For 'Guardians' 'Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens' Trailer Hits Theaters This Friday 'Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens' Trailer Hits Theaters This Friday Christian Bale Admits He Was Initially "Jealous" When Ben Affleck Was Cast As Batman Christian Bale Admits He Was Initially "Jealous" When Ben Affleck Was Cast As Batman Watch: First Trailer For Thomas Vinterberg's 'Far From The Madding Crowd' Starring Carey Mulligan Watch: First Trailer For Thomas Vinterberg's 'Far From The Madding Crowd' Starring Carey Mulligan Watch: Zac Efron Talks About His Masturbation Techniques In 'The Interview' Segment With James Franco Watch: Zac Efron Talks About His Masturbation Techniques In 'The Interview' Segment With James Franco First Look Images: Patrick Stewart As A Neo-Nazi In 'Blue Ruin' Director Jeremy Saulnier's 'Green Room' & More First Look Images: Patrick Stewart As A Neo-Nazi In 'Blue Ruin' Director Jeremy Saulnier's 'Green Room' & More Watch: Footage From "Sick," Unreleased Marilyn Manson Video, Directed By Eli Roth & Featuring Lana Del Rey Watch: Footage From "Sick," Unreleased Marilyn Manson Video, Directed By Eli Roth & Featuring Lana Del Rey R.I.P. Mike Nichols (1931-2014) R.I.P. Mike Nichols (1931-2014) Christopher Nolan Talks 'Interstellar' Twist And Enigmatic Ending Christopher Nolan Talks 'Interstellar' Twist And Enigmatic Ending Review: Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar' Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway & More Review: Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar' Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway & More Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... SXSW Review: Spierig Brothers 'Predestination'  Starring Ethan Hawke SXSW Review: Spierig Brothers 'Predestination' Starring Ethan Hawke From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Discuss: Does 'Magic Mike' Prove That Female Audiences Are Now More Reliable Than Hollywood's Staple Teen Boy Targets?

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist July 2, 2012 at 1:54PM

For those who follow that sort of thing, this weekend was one of the more interesting in a while at the domestic box office. There were four films that broke the $25 million barrier in the same weekend, a first in history, for instance. There was the unusually precipitious drop for "Brave," a worrying sign for the once-untouchable animation factory. There was the usually impressive expansion for "Moonrise Kingdom."
19
Magic Mike

For those who follow that sort of thing, this weekend was one of the more interesting in a while at the domestic box office. There were four films that broke the $25 million barrier in the same weekend, a first in history, for instance. There was the unusually precipitious drop for "Brave," a worrying sign for the once-untouchable animation factory Pixar. There was the continually impressive expansion for "Moonrise Kingdom."

But the most interesting tidbit came in the very upper reaches of the chart, with two fairly inexpensive, R-rated films: Seth MacFarlane's "Ted," made for around $50 million, about the same amount as it took across three days in the U.S, and Steven Soderbergh's "Magic Mike," picked up Warner Bros for a mere $7 million in what's looking like the bargain of the year, took just shy of $40 million. Together, they serve as further demonstrations of what we said over a year ago -- that despite studios shying away from mid-budget movies for grown-ups, they're often smarter investments than tentpoles (something born up by films like "Safe House," "Think Like A Man," and "Contraband" all exceeding box office expectations earlier in the year).

The Avengers Scarlett Johansson

But it's "Magic Mike" we particularly want to talk about, because it's another example of something that's become increasingly clear of late. Ever since "Star Wars," really, studios have been banking that young men between the ages of 13-25 (roughly) is where the money is, and the evidence has more than backed that up over the last 35 years, with superheroes and effects driven tentpoles being consistently the biggest moneymakers. This year, however, "The Avengers" aside (and more on that below), that hasn't really been borne out, with many of the films targeted specifically at that demographic underperforming. Indeed, of the year's top fifteen grossers so far only three -- "The Avengers," "Men In Black 3" and "Wrath Of The Titans" were targeted directly to that demographic (one could arguably include "21 Jump Street," "Ted" and "Prometheus," except that all three carried R-ratings).

What's more, even the ones that did bring in grosses have underperformed. Despite a decade of inflation and a 3D subsidy, "MIB3" is the lowest-grossing film of the franchise by $20 million; although it'll close the gap before its run ends. 'Titans' took half of what its 2010 predecessor made. "Battleship" and "John Carter" are already famous disasters. Even a highly profitable film like "Chronicle" was a sleeper hit, but barely passed $60 million -- a few years ago, it might have made much more.

It's not hard to come up with reasons why teen boys may not be coming to the movies in the droves they once did -- video games, piracy, rising prices, the shittiness of the product. We covered some of this last time. But what's perhaps more interesting is that the audience that seems to be stepping in. The way-above-expectations opening of "Magic Mike" is only the latest in a series of examples of female audiences -- and in particular, older female audiences -- being arguably more reliable than young men in terms of actually turning out at the box office .   

This article is related to: Magic Mike, Features, The Amazing Spider-Man, Hunger Games


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates