Ted’ and ‘Magic Mike’ Lead Surprisingly Strong Weekend

on July 02, 2012 by Daniel Garris

Universal's Ted exceeded expectations in a big way this weekend with a strong first place start of $54.42 million. There had clearly been a void at the box office for comedies so far this summer and the Seth MacFarlane directed R-rated comedy starring Mark Wahlberg filled that void and then some this weekend. Ted delivered the largest opening weekend ever for an R-rated comedy that wasn't a sequel or adapted from a pre-existing source. With that said, Ted was also helped out by the large pre-established fanbase for MacFarlane's Family Guy.

Ted opened 34 percent stronger than the $40.51 million start of 2010's Grown Ups and 26.5 percent softer than the $74.04 million start of 2008's The Simpsons Movie. While Ted is likely to be more front-loaded than Grown Ups was, it is also likely to be less front-loaded than The Simpsons Movie was, especially given its A- rating on CinemaScore and the lack of new comedy alternatives entering the marketplace over the next few weeks. After opening with a sizable $20.58 million on Friday, Ted generated a respectable opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.64 to 1. The audience breakdown for Ted skewed towards male moviegoers (56 percent) and slightly towards moviegoers 30 years and older (52 percent).

Arguably just as impressive this weekend was Warner's Magic Mike. The Steven Soderbergh directed film starring Channing Tatum exceeded its rising expectations with a very strong second place take of $39.13 million. Thanks in part to Tatum's fanbase, the low budget film became a must see film for many this weekend, especially among female moviegoers. The audience breakdown for Magic Mike skewed 73 percent towards female moviegoers and 57 percent towards moviegoers under 35.

The opening weekend performance for Magic Mike was just 5 percent softer than the $41.20 million debut of this year's The Vow and was 26 percent stronger than the $31.00 million opening weekend take of 2010's Sex and the City 2. The one sour note about this weekend's start was that Magic Mike was extremely front-loaded towards Friday's opening day gross of $19.37 million, giving the film an opening weekend to Friday ratio of just 2.02 to 1. However, given the film's small price-tag, it is already a very strong performer regardless of how well it holds up going forward.

Disney's Brave had a so-so hold in its second weekend to take third place with $34.09 million. The big-budget 3D computer animated film from Pixar fell 49 percent from last weekend's opening weekend performance. The hold was stronger than the 60 percent 2010's Cars 2 fell in its second weekend and nearly on par with the 48 percent 2008's WALL•E fell in its second weekend. With that said, Brave will soon be facing new competition for family audiences from Sony's The Amazing Spider-Man, Paramount's Katy Perry: Part of Me 3D and Fox's Ice Age: Continental Drift. With a ten-day start of $131.77 million, Brave is currently running 4 percent stronger than the $127.20 million ten-day start of WALL•E.

Not to be lost in the mix of this weekend's headline grabbers, Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection was off to a very solid fourth place start of $25.39 million. The $25.07 million start for last year's Madea's Big Happy Family had represented quite the drop-off from the $41.03 million start of 2009's Madea Goes to Jail, so the stabilization of the franchise with the performance of Witness Protection this weekend was especially important. Tyler Perry's films are typically very front-loaded towards opening weekend, so it will be interesting to see if opening in the summer will allow Madea's Witness Protection to hold up a bit better in comparison.

With the success of the weekend's other three wide releases, Disney's lower-profile People Like Us simply couldn't compete this weekend. The modestly budgeted drama starring Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks debuted all the way down in eleventh place with $4.26 million, though expectations for the film were also extremely low heading into the weekend. With a per-location average of only $2,071 this weekend, it is unlikely that People Like Us will be able to hold up well going forward.

On the limited front, Moonrise Kingdom continued to hold up nicely with a seventh place take of $4.93 million from just 854 locations. That gave the Wes Anderson directed film from Focus a per-location average of $5,769 for the weekend, suggesting that the film will be able to keep on expanding for a while longer. The 38-day total for Moonrise Kingdom stands at $18.47 million.

Meanwhile, Sony Pictures Classics' To Rome with Love grossed $692,300 from 29 locations (for a per-location average of $23,872) and Fox Searchlight's Beasts of the Southern Wild grossed $169,702 from 4 locations in New York and Los Angeles (for a per-location average of $42,426). Respective platform totals stand at $1.23 million for To Rome with Love through ten days and at $220,913 for Beasts of the Southern Wild through five days. Both films will expand into additional locations on Friday.

Additional reporting by Phil Contrino.

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