Box Office Afire: MAGIC MIKE’s Male Dancers / Channing Tatum Shirtless

Channing Tatum shirtless Magic Mike
Channing Tatum shirtless dancing: Magic Mike

Channing Tatum shirtless dancing sizzles domestic box office: Magic Mike. Channing Tatum, whether or not fully clothed, has become a box office magnet in North America. This year alone — and we’re not in July yet — Tatum has had no less than three domestic box office hits: the romantic drama The Vow co-starring Rachel McAdams, which became a sleeper hit ($125m) last winter; the comedy 21 Jump Street, opposite Jonah Hill ($138.26m); and now Steven Soderbergh’s movie about male dancers/strippers, Magic Mike.

Magic Mike: Channing Tatum’s third 2012 hit

Reportedly budgeted at $7 million and inspired by Channing Tatum’s own experiences as a dancer/stripper, the R-rated Magic Mike opened with a strong $19.41 million on Friday (including $2.05 million from midnight screenings) at 2,930 locations, averaging a highly impressive $6,625 per theater as per Box Office Mojo. Pundits had been expecting Magic Mike to gross over the weekend somewhere between $20m-$25m. Magic Mike trailed only Ted, coincidentally another R-rated comedy, this one directed by Seth MacFarlane, and starring Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis. [See TED movie box office.]

Magic Mike’s Friday performance was so good it actually beat last night’s estimates, which had the movie raking in around $15m. Chances are Soderbergh and Tatum’s mix of comedy, drama, romance and bare torsos (but not much else, apparently) may end up collecting close to $40m by Sunday evening.

Somewhat ironically, Channing Tatum’s only box office disappointment this year has been another Steven Soderbergh movie: Haywire, a Relativity Media release that cumed at a meager $18.94 million in North America, in addition to an even paltrier $12.2 million overseas.

Magic Mike box office: Steven Soderbergh’s best opening day

For comparison’s sake: Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Eleven opened with $13.33 million in 2001 (or about $18.5 million today); Ocean’s Twelve with $14.73 million in 2004 (about $19 million today); and Ocean’s Thirteen with $13.17 million in 2007 (about $15 million today). Those movies featured (in at least one of them) the likes of George Clooney, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Don Cheadle, Casey Affleck, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Bernie Mac, Al Pacino, Scott Caan, and Andy Garcia. Even so, even studio estimates are correct, Magic Mike outgrossed them on Day 1.

Besides Channing Tatum, Magic Mike also features Alex Pettyfer, Olivia Munn, Matt Bomer, Matthew McConaughey, Joe Manganiello, James Martin Kelly, Reid Carolin , Cody Horn, Avery Camp, Adam Rodriguez, Kevin Nash, and Gabriel Iglesias. Reid Carolin also wrote the Magic Mike screenplay.

Channing Tatum shirtless dancing in Magic Mike photo: Claudette Barius / Warner Bros.

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