Why ‘White House Down’ Doesn’t Measure Up for Channing Tatum

“White House Down” (Sony)

Sony pic could end star's impressive streak of $100 mil-plus grossers

The pretty-boy image of Channing Tatum may have gotten its first major box office blemish.

White House Down,” Sony’s big-budget action film from helmer Roland Emmerich, starring Tatum and Jamie Foxx, failed to excite audiences this weekend, grossing just $25.7 million from 3,222 domestic locations. That’s a troubling start considering the film cost upwards of $150 million (not including worldwide marketing).

SEE MORE: ‘White House Down’ Can’t Stand ‘The Heat,’ But ‘Monsters U’ Wins

But it’s an especially tough pill to swallow for Tatum, who has had a string of recent hits, including “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” “21 Jump Street,” “The Vow” and “Magic Mike.” In fact, every major studio film that Tatum has toplined since 2011 has gone on to gross more than $100 million at the domestic box office.

It seems “White House Down” may end that streak for the hunky star.

In order for “White House Down” to reach nine figures (achieving an ambitious four-times multiple), the film will have to successfully maneuver through a competitive holiday period that’s already crowded with holdovers, not to mention new tentpoles — “The Lone Ranger” and “Despicable Me 2” — entering the market.

As an appropriate comparison, “Magic Mike,” which Tatum also produced, bowed this same frame last year, with $39 million. And while that film benefited from the “girls-night-out” mid-week phenomenon, it saw only a three-times multiple, grossing $113 million domestically. (That still was an awesome outcome for the $7 million film.)

SEE MORE: Roland Emmerich Again Bets the ‘House’

Surprisingly though, “White House Down” skewed only 51% male, with over-25 auds contributing 61% of the opening gross. Pic received a solid ‘A-‘ CinemaScore rating.

Prior to 2011, Tatum starred in “Dear John” with Amanda Seyfried. That film, which grossed more than $80 million domestically, helped jump start Tatum’s career as a leading male star. Yet, Tatum was unable to save Focus Features’ swords-and-sandals epic, “The Eagle,” from flopping with just $19 million Stateside.

Sony begins rolling out “White House Down” internationally starting mid-July in Russia.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 24

Leave a Reply


Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Terr says:

    Its a movie made to entertain why pick it apart, I was entertained and thought the plot was a little over the edge, but as we all know over the edge things do happen. I thought the acting was very good and I do like Channing Tatum and I think he can show a lot of emotion and is one of the great up and cumming … If you don’t like an actor why go see the movie and then have the Gaul to complain….

  2. CoolLoon says:

    I agree with Toland – WHD is a terrific actioner with great story/plot, fabulous cinematography, thundering music, great pacing, and competent acting. I loved it! Very INDEPENDENCE DAY. I think the title killed it – sounds negative, not representative of the huge rah rah American can-do theme otherwise perfect for a patriotic 4th of July weekend. Bombing of the Capital and White House probably should have been built around a big holiday with same-name release, but overall I think this is a minor issue. Dependable massively entertaining Emmerich product. Overseas audiences will love it. Saw it right after LONE RANGER which was okay but sort of a snooze.

  3. kise says:

    not channing ‘s fault. don’t use him as a shield.
    the movie was very uncomfortable. i expected pop corn movie and it was….like us-goverment propaganda with cheesy plot and script… and j foxx was too similar to president obama.
    about 25mill? i guarantee that if this movie have no channing, score will be lower than that.
    feel like i was lured…

  4. Toland says:

    This was a great movie. It was much better than Olyumpus has Fallen. Channing was good. Jamie was good. The story was interesting, the action was exciting. I loved and will actually see it again.

    PS Whomever called Jamie Foxx a “racist”- you’re a moron!
    Look up the definition of racist,or racism. It has to do with power and oppression? Because he’s a blk man who seemingly likes blk ppl doesn’t make him a racist, idiot. And wth does that have to do w/ a movie? Perhaps you should spend more time reading sociology books and take a break from going to the movies and writing irrelevant reviews.

    To the rest of you…Be well & ck this movie out:)

  5. AndreaFS says:

    I saw this movie and absolutely loved it!!! It was way better than Olympus in my opinion.

  6. Imagine anyone else in the role — as written — for WHITE HOUSE DOWN: Denzel Washington or Tom Cruise. Both these actors are movie stars who have opened a motion picture, in both a big way and small, depending upon the film in question.

    Cruise was not taken “seriously” as an actor a quarter-century ago; neither was Washington when a casting agent said, and I quote: “Denzel is not a movie star.”

    There is a tendency nowadays to get through life too quickly; frankly, Tatum Channing is in the movie business…and time will tell.

  7. Julienne Ford-Hammond says:

    It’s not Tatum, it’s Foxx and his Politics.

  8. Alex says:

    Just because a guy has been in a few successful movies does not make him a movie star. Just ask Colin Farrell or Sam Worthington. Tatum is the newest Josh Hartnet. Tatum has paid his dues and Eagle was actually a decent action flick but look at the other movies: the 1st GI Joe was a success because of the name an he was part of ensamble. He was barely in the sequel and the Rock was the real star. The Vow was a typical chick flick with a female lead that’s popular and had a built in audience already despite him. 21 Jump St.’s success was more due to Jonah Hill and was a really good comedy with great chemistry between the stars and had a great world of mouth. But again he was part of a team. Magic Mike is a horrific movie that owed its success due to the hype of being a girls night out movie. Just as many women went to see it for Mathew McCoughney as for Tatum. WHD had a god awful trailer which highlighted the “whitty banter” between the two leads that was groan inducing. Not to mention Jamie Foxx’s president might be too similar to President Obama who is not highly approved right now. Right or wrong there’s a lot of people that will avoid the movie just for that similarity. Take advice from the Rock “know your role”

  9. Lif Walker says:

    This guy was a complete joke until he co-starred in 2 semi-decent movies last year. Why is this article trying to paint him as some kind of serious, respected actor? He makes Keanu Reeves look versatile and deep.

  10. brooklyn2 says:

    Most of these young Hollywood star’s popularity is over-rated and most have their greatest success in some kind of superhero tentpole which doesn’t translate into other movies that have to be launched on their charisma and drawing power. GI Joe is a good example of this and BTW the sequel tanked. PR blitzes help a budding star’s career a lot but the audience ultimately decides.

  11. Not good idea to bring White out so soon after Olympus which has grossed 100m….

  12. Chris says:

    Why? It’s because no real man wants to see Chaning Tatum! All the other movies did well because they were chick flicks except G.I. Joe, and that did well because of the Rock!! No action film fan wants to see him because he is not convincing action star!!

    • hare says:

      This kind of makes me laugh because he often does his own stunts. What other ‘action star’ backflips off a freeway bridge himself. badass.

      I like him because he doesn’t seem to have the outsized ego/persona of some of the other action stars, he can poke fun at himself and has a great physicality, but maybe that’s why he doesn’t appeal to some.

    • mumum says:


  13. I can’t believe you are trying to count G.I Joe which is an extended cameo and had the “franchise” Dwayne Johnson & Bruce Willis.

    The real thing that has concerned me over the past year, with all of this Tatum stuff is that for all this talk of $100m films n a row, only 21 Jump Street made over $200m worldwide and that co-Starred Jonah Hill; more to the point only $63m of that came from international. His highest grossing, starring, film, (excluding the G.I Joes) is $71m for The Vow. To put all of this superstar pressure on him, when he remains relatively unknown, not a draw, in what should be the higher earning part of the market is a little daft. Now you have a film that is very American, seems too similar to the earlier film (Unlike Snow White & The Huntsman or Armageddon) a star who isn’t a star overseas and a director who a, at least, does tend to have films earn significantly more internationally than in North America, but that tends to be “end of The World” type stuff.

  14. bgr says:

    I’m not sure that Tatum is in anyway proven to be able to open a movie. He was only in GI JOe for about 10 minutes and was not the headliner of the movie.

    I think the issue here was a way over-inflated budget creating the need for blockbuster status for this movie to break even. those interested in a movie about an attack on the white house probably already saw Olympus has Fallen and found no compelling reason to go see another movie that looks like they have seen it already when there are so many choices of movies right now.

  15. Bob C. says:

    WTF, indeed. Despite Mchasewalker’s veiled agest/sexist and homophobic-tinged reasons, the fault is not Tatum who has proven his box office power and acting chops in those very successful movies listed. He’s not the problem, and I don’t believe for an instant it’s Foxx’s either. The competition was stronger — Monsters and Zombies. NOT TO MENTION THE PROBABLY #1 REASON: This same movie came out several weeks earlier with a different name and a different cast (Olympus has Fallen). Tatum will bounce back, no question, which will only stun and confuse
    mcchasewalker all over again.

  16. rainey13 says:

    It’s simple – Tatum can’t act. Dance – yes. Glower – yes. But he’s totally out of his element with anything that requires an actual emotional response.

    • GUS says:

      Yeah, and that`s specially needed in popcorn action movies like this one, we sure do love emotional heroes in action movies

  17. Julienne Ford-Hammond says:

    It’s not Channing. It’s Foxx. You can’t go out middle America every day and put down people that disagree with the President. It’ll take you down too!

  18. mchasewalker says:

    Apart from cougars and gay casting directors it’s hard to imagine who takes Channing Tatum seriously as an actor — the rest of us are like WTF? not a reason to go to the movies…!

    • Tango35 says:

      What kind of misguided reasoning is that? I’m not a cougar, nor am I gay casting director. However, I do like C Tates movies . News flash! There are millions of us out here. Like him or don’t like him but he is a very in demand actor and that’s a fact.

More Film News from Variety