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.

Popular on Variety

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

  • Lee Byung-hun stars in "The Man

    Lee Byung-hun’s ‘Man Standing Next’ Secures 2020 Asia Theatrical Releases (EXCLUSIVE)

    Showbox’s political drama “The Man Standing Next” has secured releases in multiple territories in Asia. The film was picked up by Falcon for Indonesia, The Klockworx for Japan, Viva Communications for the Philippines, Shaw Renters for Singapore and by Moviecloud for Taiwan. Release dates in each territory have yet to be confirmed. Set 40 days [...]

  • Lulu Wang and Zhao Shuzhen'The Farewell'

    Zhao Shuzhen on Stealing Scenes in Her First American Movie, 'The Farewell'

    A year ago, 76-year-old actor Zhao Shuzhen shot her first American movie, “The Farewell,” based on writer-director Lulu Wang’s very personal family story. In November, Shuzhen found herself making her first visit to the States, where she earned standing ovations from audiences and posed for pictures with stars like Robert Pattinson at parties. Then she [...]

  • Jennifer Lopez and Director Lorene Scafaria

    'Hustlers' DP Todd Banhazl Discusses How Not to Shoot With the Male Gaze

    Cinematographer Todd Banhazl had to rethink conventional wisdom in shooting Jennifer Lopez starrer “Hustlers.” What sort of approach did you and director Lorene Scafaria discuss in terms of how you were going to shoot the women and create these strong images of strippers? From the beginning, we talked about this idea of control and the [...]

  • A Hidden Life Movie

    Film News Roundup: Terrence Malick's 'A Hidden Life' Screened at Vatican Film Library

    In today’s film news roundup, “A Hidden Life” is shown at the Vatican, “Limerence” finds a home, Dave Baustista’s “My Spy” moves, and the DGA honors two veteran members. VATICAN SCREENING Terrence Malick’s “A Hidden Life” received a rare private screening at the Vatican Film Library this week. The movie centers on Austrian farmer and [...]

  • Wet Season

    'Wet Season' Star Yeo Yann Yann on the Need for Quality Chinese-Language Films

    Malaysia’s Yeo Yann Yann wiped away tears that weren’t purely of joyous triumph just minutes after receiving the 2019 Golden Horse Award for best actress in Singaporean director Anthony Chen’s “Wet Season.” The film plays in the New Chinese Cinema section of this week’s International Film Festival & Awards (IFFAM). Emotion welled up as she [...]

  • Wolf Totem

    Juben Productions Stretches From Peter Chan to Chinese Zombies

    Beijing Juben Productions has taken over rights to the popular “Wolf Totem” novel from China Film Group and is working on a sequel to be delivered in 2021 or Chinese New Year 2022. It also has a zombie film up its sleeve, as well as a British co-production about Shakespeare and a Chinese drama with [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content