Channing Tatum turned Magic Mike into a $180 million empire

At a giant marquee on an island near downtown Miami, actor Channing Tatum threw pink dollar bills at a shirtless male dancer.

The audience at the premiere on January 25th Magic Mike’s Last DanceThey included director Steven Soderbergh, orange-haired drag queens and actress Salma Hayek, who beamed in a black bikini covered by a mesh dress. She is Tatum’s co-star in the film, the third installment in the stripper film series, which hits theaters Friday.

The original Magic Mike was a surprise hit when it was released in 2012. Channing Tatum has made it an industry of its own.

The original Magic Mike was a surprise hit when it was released in 2012. Channing Tatum has made it an industry of its own.

While the Miami venue that hosts the Magic Mike Live show is regularly inundated with fake money, it represents a very real money-making business. The production, which features male dancers bump and grind in front of an audience to which normally Owning a slew of hen parties, now includes permanent residences in London and Las Vegas. It’s also a key part of a pitch by Tatum and his business partners who want to raise money for their company, which is planning tours and other events related to his film work.

Free Association, the company co-owned by Tatum, his writing partner Reid Carolin, and former manager Peter Kiernan, has already sold about $125 million ($180 million) worth of tickets to its live shows. The partners say they have a special ability to put together unforgettable live events in the age of entertainment companies squeezing every last penny out of intellectual property through spin-offs, branded merchandise and theme park rides.

“We love making films, we love making TV shows, but there’s something about live entertainment that’s just visceral,” Kiernan said in an interview.

The success of the stage show and the Magic Mike brand in general is an unlikely Hollywood story. With theaters struggling and the traditional home video market all but dried up, studios have been wary of investing in new, commercially untested movie ideas. Stars, on the other hand, are often warned that the stupidest thing they can do is put their own money into their projects.


However, in 2010 Tatum, then an aspiring actor who had gained some notoriety through dance film climb upHe began speaking publicly about his ambition to bring his real-life backstory as a stripper to the big screen. He convinced Soderbergh not only to join the project, but to put his own money into it alongside Tatum. Carolin quickly wrote a screenplay and they eventually got Warner Bros. to distribute it.

the movie of 2012, Magic Mike, was a surprise hit, grossing $167 million worldwide against a budget of $7 million. This led to a sequel, Magic Mike XXL, which cost $14 million to make and grossed $123 million in theaters upon its 2015 release. Channing Tatum turned Magic Mike into a $180 million empire

Brian Lowry

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