After Magic Mike, will Hollywood cater more to female audiences?

A whopping 73 percent of those who flocked to see the male-stripper flick were women, fueling the film's surprising $40 million opening-weekend haul

Channing Tatum poses for a picture with a female fan at the Magic Mike premiere: 73 percent of the film's opening-weekend audience was composed of women.
(Image credit: Mike)

Speaking at the Women in Film Awards last month, Meryl Streep lamented the fact that even though five recent movies aimed at women — The Help, The Iron Lady, Bridesmaids, Mamma Mia!, and The Devil Wears Prada — earned more than $1.6 billion at the box office, Hollywood continues to resist making female-targeted films. "Why?" she asked. "Don't they want the money?" Streep can now add Magic Mike to the list of hit films marketed toward women, as the male-stripper movie has already raked in a massive $40 million on a $7 million budget, thanks to an audience that was 73 percent female. Will Magic Mike's expectations-defying success be the turning point that convinces studios of the box-office power of female audiences?

Hollywood should try harder to woo women: Ever since the success of Star Wars in the '70s, studios have banked on young men aged 13 to 25 to drive the box office, says Oliver Lyttelton at Indie Wire. But of this year's Top 15 moneymakers, only three were aimed at that demographic — The Avengers, Men in Black 3, and Wrath of the Titans — and the latter two have earned significantly less than their franchise predecessors. And while action movies Battleship and John Carter flopped, female-targeted films like The Hunger Games, The Vow, Think Like a Man, and Magic Mike all surged past expectations. Studios would be wise to ease "off the relentless targeting of teenage boys, and start courting the ladies."

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us