Two big R-rated movies opened at the top of the box office over the weekend.
“Ted,” Mark Wahlberg and director/co-writer/co-star Seth MacFarlane’s comedy for Universal Pictures about a talking teddy bear, opened as the No. 1 movie with $54.1 million, according to the Associated Press.
The Warner Bros. release “Magic Mike,” Channing Tatum and director Steven Soderbergh’s male-stripper tale, debuted strong at No. 2 with $39.2 million.
The opening for “Ted” was the third-highest R-rated comedy debut, behind last year’s “Hangover 2″ ($85.9 million) and 2010′s “Sex and the City 2″ ($57 million), and it was the biggest ever R-rated non-sequel comedy opening, according to the AP.
“Ted” stars Wahlberg as a guy whose stuffed bear magically came to life when he was a boy, the two growing up together to become slacker, party-boy roommates. MacFarlane, the creator of TV’s “Family Guy,” provides the voice of the bear, while “Family Guy” voice co-star Mila Kunis plays Wahlberg’s girlfriend.
The idea of a cuddly teddy bear combined with a foul mouth and MacFarlane’s wicked sense of humor caught fire with audiences, who lifted “Ted” far beyond the opening of $35 million or less that Hollywood generally expected, according to the AP.
The AP reports that “Magic Mike” also far outstripped industry expectations. Directed by Soderbergh, “Magic Mike” is inspired by Tatum’s early career as a male stripper and features him as a veteran dancer who takes a newcomer (Alex Pettyfer) under his wing.
The beefcake factor of Tatum, Pettyfer and co-stars Matthew McConaughey, Matt Bomer and Adam Rodriguez strutting their stuff had women packing theaters in a way that distributor Warner Bros. had not seen since its “Sex and the City” flicks. Female fans made up 73 percent of the “Magic Mike” crowds, according to the AP.
The weekend was a rare instance where two R-rated movies opened at Nos. 1 and 2, and it followed another unusual weekend where two PG-rated movies (“Brave” and “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted”) led the box office.
Disney/Pixar’s fairy tale “Brave” held up well at No. 3 with $34 million in its second weekend, according to the AP. In its fourth weekend, “Madagascar 3″ took in another $11.8 million.
“Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection,” the latest from the popular filmmaker for Lionsgate Films, opened solidly at No. 4 with $26.4 million, according to the AP.
Unfortunately, the sibling drama “People Like Us” didn’t fare as well in its opening weekend, debuting at No. 10 with $4.3 million. A DreamWorks release distributed by Disney, the movie features Chris Pine (Captain Kirk of “Star Trek”) as a man who connects with the half-sister (Elizabeth Banks) he never knew he had.
To read my review of “People Like Us,” click here.
Domestic revenues totaled $207.7 million, up 3 percent from the same weekend in 2011, when “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” debuted at No. 1 with $97.9 million, according to the AP. That was quite an accomplishment, considering the Fourth of July fell on Monday last year, making it a long holiday weekend.
It was also a big movie weekend overseas, as two huge franchises got a head-start on their U.S. openings:
The 20th Century Fox animated sequel “Ice Age: Continental Drift” opened with $78 million in 34 international markets, while Sony’s “The Amazing Spider-Man” debuted with $50.2 million in 13 markets. “Amazing Spider-Man” opens domestically Tuesday for the Fourth of July weekend, while “Continental Drift” has its U.S. debut July 13, according to the AP.
Here are the top 10 movies from the weekend, according to the AP:
1. “Ted,” $54.1 million.
2. “Magic Mike,” $39.2 million.
3. “Brave,” $34 million ($6.7 million international).
4. “Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection,” $26.4 million.
5. “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted,” $11.8 million ($16.2 million international).
6. “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,” $6 million ($5 million international).
7. “Prometheus,” $4.93 million ($6.2 million international).
8. “Moonrise Kingdom,” $4.9 million ($375,000 international).
9. “Snow White & the Huntsman,” $4.4 million ($14.5 million international).
10. “People Like Us,” $4.3 million.