Hollywood was reminded over the weekend that a movie doesn’t need to be based on a comic book or young adult novel to break a box-office record, as “Ted” exceeded industry expectations to become the #1 movie in America.
“Ted” shattered the opening record for an original R-rated comedy previously held by “The Hangover.” The expletive-laden talking-teddy-bear movie from “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane and starring Mark Wahlberg took in $54.1 million. It wasn’t a gargantuan figure like 2012 record-breakers “The Avengers” or “The Hunger Games,” but it was much more than projected and a number big enough to fend off competition from “Magic Mike.” The male-stripper tale itself over-performed as well, to the tune of $39.2 million.
More than one industry expert had predicted “Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection” could have dominated the weekend, but the latest entry in the “Madea” series debuted at #4 with $26.4 million.
That left the #3 spot for last weekend’s #1 movie, “Brave.” Disney/Pixar’s 13th consecutive movie to open at the top of the box-office scorecard collected $34 million in its second weekend for a domestic total of $131.7 million. “People Like Us,” starring Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks, arrived with a thud, generating just $4.3 million during its first weekend in theaters.
It was the first time two R-rated movies both grossed over $21 million the same weekend. The male-skewing “Ted” and the female-skewing “Magic Mike” arrived after several weeks in which animated children’s flicks — “Brave” and “Madagascar 3,” which is #5 this week with $11.8 million — ruled the box office. Earlier 2012 R-rated comedies “The Dictator” and “That’s My Boy” failed to drum up much interest from moviegoers.
“Magic Mike” was the best-reviewed of the weekend’s new major releases, boasting a 79 percent critical average on Rotten Tomatoes. “Ted” stood at 69 percent at press time. Speaking of great reviews, the indie darling “Beasts of the Southern Wild” opened in New York and Los Angeles over the weekend with a $42,250 per-screen average. First-time filmmaker Benh Zeitlin’s Sundance favorite grossed $169,000 in just four theaters.