So, this weekend would look to be the quiet before the storm. Next week is dominated by Spider-Man (Amazing or not), then comes the Ice Age, and then a little film called The Dark Knight Rises. But Warner Brothers has smartly targeted women for Magic Mike, and it went from little awareness to what’s looking to be the sleeper hit of the summer, and maybe the biggest film in Steven Soderbergh‘s career.

Perhaps more importantly, Magic Mike is the moment where Channing Tatum fully becomes a star. Sure, he’s been in big movies and hit films, but it’s hard to say that G.I. Joe: That Piece of Crap and 21 Jump Street are really his. And while Soderbergh is the director of Mike, it’s Tatum’s story. Even if it is a success because women want to see scantily clad men shake what their mothers gave them, it’s to Tatum’s benefit.

And it appears that women have heard the call of this film – at least from the tracking and anecdotal evidence. The question, at least philosophically, is it progression or regression that women can assert that they’re excited to see a film like this? Films specifically about female strippers tend to do lower box office (Showgirls, Striptease) because it’s seen as a turn off on date night, and there is an embarrassment factor. That said, almost every action movie in the 1980′s had a scene set in a strip club, so it’s not as if cinema isn’t replete with strippers.

But if the film is huge – and to this point Soderbergh’s biggest hit to date is the first Ocean’s Eleven film with $183 million – will we see more women going to Chippendales type locations? Probably. Expect dumb think pieces if it does over $100 Million.

Seth MacFarlane may also have a sleeper hit with Ted, which does offer Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis. The raunchy but sweet movie about a living teddy bear is supposedly funny, and that could go a long way. Neither of these films are expected to do $200 Million, so doing good business over the weekend is enough. And counter-programming is what these films are meant to be. But now it looks like both could be bigger than the programmers like Battleship or Dark Shadows.

And then there’s People Like Us and Madea’s Witness Protection. Yep. Busy week of films meant to break up the monotony of summer event films.  That they’re all coming out the same week seems silly. But everything will be back in swing next week. Excelsior.

So let’s predict:

  1. Brave – $42 Million
  2. Magic Mike – $34.7 Million
  3. Ted – $22.5 Million
  4. Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection – $20.5 Million
  5. Madagascar – $11.5 Million

Mike could go lower, but it feels like there’s a huge surge in interest. Ted could also go higher, it all depends. I don’t know if that cracked its marketing in the last couple weeks. Tyler Perry does Tyler Perry business at this point, and People Like Us picked the wrong week to be the alternative.

What are you going to see this weekend?