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‘Ted’ snuggling up to R-rated record

Could surpass first 'Hangover' as top new hard-R comedy

Universal’s “Ted” is cuddling up to the high $40 million to low $50 million range, giving the Mark Wahlberg laffer a good shot at becoming the highest-opening original (non-sequel) R-rated comedy in domestic box office history.

Early box office returns indicate that Seth MacFarlane’s first feature film will likely earn in the high teens Friday, with a good shot at hitting $20 million.

Meanwhile Warner Bros.’ “Magic Mike” is grinding its way toward the low-to-mid teens today, including more than $2 million in last night’s midnight grosses. That puts it well on its way to crossing into the low $30 million dollar range.

Industry insiders expect grosses to drop by around 30% tomorrow, although pre-sales have made estimates tricky.

Meanwhile, Tyler Perry’s latest pic “Madea’s Witness Protection” is tracking to earn in the low to mid twenties for the weekend, based on estimates that the Lionsgate pic will take in around $10 million today.

Family dramedy “People Like Us” will almost definitely disappoint Disney-DreamWorks, with box office watchers putting the pic’s weekend take between $4 million and $5 million.