Nolte: Woke ‘Magic Mike’s Last Dance’ Disappoints at Box Office

Warner Bros.

Magic Mike’s Last Dance wasn’t expected to light the box office on fire, and it still underperformed.

The expectation was that the third and (likely last) in director Steven Soderbergh’s trilogy would open somewhere between $9 to 11 million. Instead, it crash-dived at $8.2 million.

In 2012, the original Magic Mike opened with nearly $40 million and went on to gross $114 million domestic.

Three years later, Magic Mike XXL opened to $13 million and went on to gross $66 million domestic.

Now, I personally didn’t care for either movie, but these movies aren’t made for heterosexual guys. They’re made for women and gay men, which is all good. Movies should be made for everyone. The first Magic Mike was gritty. The second one was fun-edging-into-campy. Both gave the ladies and gay guys what they paid for: plenty of man meat. A good time was had by all, and God bless America.

Unfortunately, this time, Soderbergh decided to lecture and talk down to his built-in fan base by turning a movie about male strippers into a lesson about female empowerment, consent, and other boring and tedious themes that have no place in a franchise about male strippers.

Even left-wing critics, who normally fall all over themselves to pretend they like this garbage, complained about being disappointed and sucker punched.

Never in a million years did I expect the far-left TheWrap to complain about woketardery:

The film desperately strives to be a spectacle with a tired, faux-feminist message. It is a grandiose love story made for a rowdy audience with unromantic expectations. A filthy early dance sequence promises more for the horndogs, and Stephen Soderbergh’s slick direction lends some artistic cred, but this threequel is gutless — and relatively crotchless.

It’s absurd for a “Magic Mike” film to tackle these issues at all. The franchise has succeeded, for better or for worse, because hordes of women and gay men will happily turn their brains off and surrender themselves to the film’s abundant glitter and glutes. Seeing this movie try to solve for female empowerment feels like watching your overly political cousin turn Thanksgiving into a hunger strike. Nobody asked, and in fact, we all came here with the opposite goal in mind.

If you want a laugh and have a lot of time on your hands, the idiots at Deadline spend about a million paragraphs trying to write around the real reason Magic Mike’s Last Dance tanked. My guess is that this movie will now disappear with barely a trace.

As far as I’m concerned, this is all you need to know… Channing Tatum,  the star of the Magic Mike franchise, was able to open a movie called Dog to $15 million in February of 2022 when the pandemic was still an issue.

No franchise. No IP. No sequel. No high-concept. No prequel. No capes. No special effects. Dog was nothing more than a road trip movie about a veteran (Tatum) and a dog.

Dog was nothing special, nothing I haven’t seen before. Dog was as predictable and boilerplate as movies get.

But Dog also delivered exactly as promised. It was fun, funny, well-paced, charming, and moving, with relatable characters and a sense of humor about itself. Dog was 101 well-paced minutes of pure escapism with a nice message about second chances, connecting with people different from yourself,  and how lucky we humans are to be blessed with the company of dogs.

Dog ended up grossing $62 million domestic and $85 million worldwide.

If Channing Tatum can open Dog to $15 million with the pandemic still hovering, Magic Mike’s Last Dance should have at least done as well. But Soderbergh decided to woke-rape it just like he did the 2021 Oscars, and the result was the same: failure.

Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.


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