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Soderbergh scores another No. 1 movie

'Magic Mike' director not as lauded as others

Salma Hayek and Channing Tatum star in Magic Mike's Last Dance, the No. 1 film at the U.S. box office.

Greg W. Locke

Whatzup Features Writer

Published February 15, 2023

No one went to the movies last weekend, Super Bowl weekend. While weekend averages have been low this year, about $82 million per weekend, Super Bowl weekend saw just $47 million in sales, with Steven Soderbergh’s new film, Magic Mike’s Last Dance, taking the No. 1 spot with a humble $8.2 million in sales (while playing on just 1,500 screens). 

In a way, it’s a big deal that Soderbergh has another No. 1 film. He’s had others. Probably even enough of them that he should be a household name, like Steven Spielberg or Michael Bay, or even Spike Lee or Jim Jarmusch.

But somehow, Soderbergh, who has been married to model-turned-host Jules Asner since 2003, has eluded being the kind of celebrity who can’t do his own grocery shopping. And yet he’s one of the most beloved living American filmmakers in the eyes of the cinephile community. Few filmmakers have a higher, broader approval rating.

And yet, again, he’s under-the-radar-ish. His closest friends are George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Matt Damon, yet he remains perfectly safe in the aisles of Rei.

In addition to a very busy career as a film producer and sometimes TV director, Soderbergh, who just turned 60, has made 35 feature films. And, if you’re a newbie to him, here’s the exciting part: He edits and shoots all his own films under pseudonyms. And he’s really, really good at it. That’s not normal.

I have not seen Magic Mike’s Last Dance, but there was a Wild Screening at a local theater that I considered going to, if mostly for the people-watching element. I will see Last Dance eventually, probably on a streaming service on a bored day.

This all makes it sound as if I’m not a big Soderbergh fan. I am. Huge. I’ve even managed to see 32 of his 35 feature films and, yes, since you asked, I’ll share a Top 10 with you:

10. Behind the Candelabra (2013)

9. Erin Brockovich (2000)

8. Contagion (2011)

7. Che (2008)

6. Ocean’s Trilogy (2001-07)

5. The Informant! (2009)

4. Out of Sight (1998)

3. Traffic (2000)

2. The Limey (1999)

1. Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989)

Honorable Mention: And Everything is Going Fine (2010), a great documentary film about Spalding Gray, who made another classic film, titled Gray’s Anatomy with Soderbergh.

I’d call all 10 of those films classics. Easy. I’d argue he even has another eight or so classics. A truly incredible, special career. Send your own Soderbergh list my way at


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