"Magic Mike" was one of 2012's most profitable films. Made for just $7 million, Steven Soderbergh's sun-drenched ode to Tampa Bay and male strippers grossed $167 million worldwide, including $113 million in North America. Why, beyond the appeal of seeing stars Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey, Alex Pettyfer and Joe Manganiello in various stages of undress, was the film such a hit? According to Soderbergh, it had a lot to do with "Fifty Shades of Grey."
Appearing on HuffPost Live, Soderbergh said that "Magic Mike" benefited from the mania created by E L James trilogy of S&M-infused novels.
"We were the beneficiary of some things that we could have never predicted or controlled," Soderbergh told host Ricky Camilleri. "One of the huge ones was that, months earlier, these 'Fifty Shades of Grey' books came out. Suddenly, the whole issue of female fantasy was part of the cultural conversation [and] we were able to draft off of that. It really helped us enormously."
"Fifty Shades Of Grey" was picked up by Universal Studios and Focus Features, but don't expect Soderbergh to direct the film; following the theatrical release "Side Effects" (due out Feb. 8) and the HBO film "Behind the Candelabra," Soderbergh is set to retire.
"I have a sense that I need to reboot and there's really no way to do that incrementally," Soderbergh said to HuffPost Live. "I don't really have gears; I have an on-off switch, so I need to switch off for a while and see if I can rebuild my approach. We'll see. I don't know. It could be a few years -- it could be more than a few years, I just don't know."
Watch Soderbergh above.