For fans, it’s been a difficult several years since “Magic” Mike Lane left the male stripping industry in 2012, but like a phoenix with magnificent pecs, the Channing Tatum character returns in “Magic Mike XXL,” out today. Our time in the desert has come to an end. Mike is making a comeback, and so is the strip-club industry.
The “Magic Mike” universe is based on Tatum’s own time as a stripper, and the best data I could find indicates that it’s a pretty accurate telling of the financial and social realities of the stripping business.
First, a synopsis, for those unfamiliar with the first installment: Tatum plays Mike, a Tampa construction worker who moonlights as a stripper in a club run by a man named Dallas (Matthew McConaughey). He recruits a friend to join the crew of male dancers, assorted hijinks happen, and eventually Mike leaves the industry to pursue his dream of starting a furniture business. But that isn’t the end of this story. In the sequel, the crew is now going on the road to an exotic-dancing convention.
Stripper road trip aside, the “Magic Mike” franchise is a pretty good window into the world of live adult entertainment for women. I got an August 2014 industry analysis produced by IBISWorld, a market research firm, all about the financial mechanics of the strip-club business so we can see how the club from the first film, Xquisite, compares.
About 5.3 percent of the $6.18 billion generated in revenue by strip clubs in 2014 came from women. While that part of the market is dwarfed by the male-targeted side, that still means there’s a $328 million market for male strippers. Women are described by the analysts as a “small but growing market” for strip clubs. Bachelorette parties and birthdays appear to be the core clientele, according to two descriptive studies I found.
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