×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Ted’ triumphs with $54 mil at weekend B.O.

Second R-rated pic, 'Magic Mike,' also overperforms with $39 mil

In a rare something-for-everyone weekend at the domestic box office, “Ted” stuffed Universal’s coffers with a whopping $54 million — the biggest bow for an original R comedy — while Channing Tatum hit yet again with a midbudget moneymaker, this time peeling off $39 million for Warner Bros.’ stripper pic “Magic Mike.”

Overseas, families and fanboys led the charge as two films made early bows: Fox’s “Ice Age: Continental Drift” impressed with $78.1 million from 34 territories, and Sony’s “The Amazing Spider-Man” took $50.2 million in a 13-country rollout.

The weekend’s diverse lineup kept Stateside totals even with last year, a tough bar to hit considering “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” debuted to $98 million.

In a summer of R-rated successes,”Ted,” which exceeded the most optimistic pre-weekend predictions by at least $10 million, bested “The Hangover’s” $45 million domestic debut in 2009. “Magic Mike,” meanwhile, wasn’t expected to gross much more than $20 million — but it made nearly that on opening day. Still, a steeper-than-expected Friday-to-Saturday drop of 41% (some were predicting a 25% drop at most) could signal trouble for the pic’s playability.

Along with the weekend’s top players, Lionsgate’s Tyler Perry pic “Madea’s Witness Protection” also overperformed, grossing an estimated $26.4 million, while last weekend’s No. 1 pic, Disney-Pixar’s “Brave,” held OK in its second frame, dropping 49% for an estimated three-day take of $34 million.

“I was getting calls all weekend long from exhibitors excited about how theaters were hopping across the country,” said Lionsgate distribution exec David Spitz.

Struggling in its opening frame, DreamWorks’ family dramedy “People Like Us” collected a paltry $4.3 million. Even though it received a solid B+ CinemaScore rating, “People” failed to find its audience — likely hit by an overabundance of other well-received product.

In addition to its strong start for “Spider-Man,” Sony had another reason to be enthusiastic this weekend, as “Men in Black 3” became the franchise’s highest-grossing installment, collecting $599.4 million so far worldwide. The original “MIB” cumed $589.4 million globally in 1997.

At the specialty B.O., Fox Searchlight successfully bowed fest darling “Beasts of the Southern Wild” at four locations in New York and L.A. Pic bowed Wednesday for a five-day total of $220,447, averaging more than $55,000 per screen.

In its sixth frame, “Moonrise Kingdom” expanded to 854 theaters, landing in the top 10 for the third weekend. The Focus Features pic grossed $4.9 million; domestic cume is $18.4 million.

Despite a restrictive rating, “Ted” managed to draw a significant under-30 turnout, at 48%. The film skewed male, though women made up a considerable 44% of the opening gross.

“We had great talent who worked as hard as ever to get the message out about a fantastic movie that satisfies audiences looking for adult comedy,” said U distribution prexy Nikki Rocco.

Not surprisingly, an overwhelming 73% of the “Magic Mike” debut aud were women; under-35 auds made up 57%.

Just as “Ted” and “Magic Mike” managed to attract auds outside their core demos, last weekend’s toon holdovers — “Brave” and “Madagascar 3” — continued to boost totals by appealing to moviegoers beyond families.

That the weekend kept pace with 2011 is more impressive given that July 4th fell on Monday last year, meaning Sunday saw increased moviegoing. Tuesday’s “Spider-Man” bow will lift mid-week grosses further, which also should benefit holdovers because of increased theater traffic.

Warner domestic distribution prexy Dan Fellman admitted that while “Magic Mike” took a sizable hit Saturday, exit polls indicate that the best audience ratings were among the film’s core under-35 aud, which gave the pic a B+ CinemaScore vs. its overall B rating.

“Mike,” based on Tatum’s real-life experience as a stripper, is just the latest height in his steady rise of late; his two most recent films, “The Vow” and “21 Jump Street,” crossed $100 million each domestically.

It’s uncertain whether word-of-mouth can propel “Mike” to those heights. Financially, the film is already successful considering Warners acquired North American rights for just $7 million. Pic cost $6.5 million. Studio also kept marketing costs down by relying heavily on viral support.

“There was a lot of online conversation from groups of women reminiscent to ‘Sex and the City,'” Fellman said.

U focused most of its marketing efforts on popularity for “Ted” writer-director Seth MacFarlane (TV’s “Family Guy”) and Mark Wahlberg. MacFarlane produced the pic, along with Scott Stuber, John Jacobs and Jason Clark.

R-rated comedies typically have longer legs than most other pics — if word of mouth takes hold. “Ted,” which received a solid A- CinemaScore, drew stellar results in Australia, where it earned $2.8 million from previews on Friday and Saturday. Pic expands wide locally on Thursday, with an added rollout in Taiwan.

Stateside playability for Perry’s “Witness Protection” should be strong, as the helmer typically registers well with his core African-American demographic. “Protection” drew a larger-than-usual white and Latino crowd for Perry pics.

Fox’s fourth installment in the boffo “Ice Age” franchise scored studio bests in Mexico and Brazil, collecting $13.8 million and $6.9 million, respectively. Pic’s Mexican bow — ahead of No. 2 territory France, with $11.8 million — also marks the country’s third-highest industry opening. In Gaul, meanwhile, “Ice Age” opened better than “The Avengers” locally.

Launching mostly throughout Asia (except in China), “Spider-Man” earned top marks in South Korea, where it grossed $13.4 million, followed by Japan, with $11.4 million. Sony expands “Spider-Man” elsewhere internationally this week; “Ice Age” debuts day-and-date with the U.S. on July 13 in 16 markets, including the U.K. and Russia.

More Film

  • (L to R) VIGGO MORTENSEN and

    'Green Book' Lands Post-Oscars Theatrical Release in China

    Fresh off Monday’s news that it had picked up five Academy Award nominations, best picture favorite “Green Book” is set for more good luck. The film will hit Chinese theaters on March 1, the first weekend after the Oscars, which fall on Feb 24, Alibaba Pictures announced on its official social media account. The film [...]

  • Fan Bingbing

    Chinese Celebrities Pay $1.7 Billion in Back Taxes Following Fan Bingbing Scandal

    Chinese film and TV stars have paid some $1.7 billion (RMB11.7 billion) of additional taxes, following the mid-2018 scandal surrounding actress Fan Bingbing. The figure was announced Tuesday by China’s State Tax Administration. Chinese authorities launched a probe into the taxation affairs of the entertainment sector in October. Companies and individuals were asked to examine [...]

  • Yalitza Aparicio as Cleo, Marco Graf

    Film News Roundup: AMC, Regal to Leave 'Roma' Out of Best Picture Showcases

    In today’s film news roundup, “Roma” will not be in the best picture showcases at AMC and Regal, “Jimi Hendrix: Electric Church” gets a release and SAG-AFTRA’s David White has a new appointment. ‘ROMA’ SPURNED AMC Theatres and Regal Cinemas are leaving Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” out of their upcoming annual showings of the contenders for [...]

  • First Look at SAG Awards' Cuban

    First Look at SAG Awards' Cuban-Inspired After-Party (EXCLUSIVE)

    Celebrities at this year’s SAG Awards won’t have to go far for some tropical fun. Sunday’s annual post-show gala, hosted by People magazine for the 23rd year, is set to feature a Cuban-themed party space adjacent to the Shrine Auditorium. “We’re kind of going back to more of a thematic element. I have some close [...]

  • Paul DavidsonVariety Big Data Summit Presented

    Listen: The Orchard's Paul Davidson on Surviving Sundance Bidding Wars

    Hollywood heads to Park City, Utah this week in the hopes of finding the next big Sundance Film Festival breakout. Paul Davidson, executive vice president of film and television at The Orchard, plans to be in the thick of it. In today’s edition of Variety‘s “Strictly Business” podcast, Davidson opens up about The Orchard’s strategy [...]

  • Young Tony Soprano in 'Sopranos' Movie:

    James Gandolfini's Son Michael Gandolfini Cast as Tony Soprano in 'Sopranos' Movie

    Michael Gandolfini, son of the late James Gandolfini, will play the young Tony Soprano in “The Many Saints of Newark,” the  prequel movie to the television series “The Sopranos.” “It’s a profound honor to continue my dad’s legacy while stepping into the shoes of a young Tony Soprano,” Gandolfini said. “I’m thrilled that I am [...]

  • Bradley Cooper A Star Is Born

    The Message of the Oscar Nominations: You'd Better Have a Social Message

    Each year at the Left Coast crack of dawn, when the Oscar nominations are announced, there’s generally at least one major nomination many pundits were predicting that fails to materialize. When that happens, entertainment media tends to rise up as one and say the s-word: snub. In truth, it’s not usually a snub; it’s just [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content