Nearly doubling industry estimates, Ted scored big with a $54.1 million gross this weekend. In comparison, 2009's The Hangover debuted to $44 million. That means Ted has set the new record for an opening of a non-sequel, R-rated comedy. Not only did it earn a lot of money, audiences gave it an A- CinemaScore. I'm sure Universal will want to follow up this comedy's $50 million weekend with a sequel, so there may be a Ted 2 a couple of summers from now.
For the first time ever, two R-rated comedies opened above $20 million. Magic Mike beat that figure by a lot, earning $39.1 million crumpled one-dollar bills in just three days. Channing Tatum stars as a male stripper with big dreams in this Steven Soderbergh-directed flick, which appears to have delighted both critics (78% positive on Rotten Tomatoes) and audiences. Both Ted and Magic Mike are set up for strong follow-up weekends thanks to the Fourth of July holiday.
Most expected Disney's Brave to spend a second weekend in first place, but instead the feature dropped 48%, on the high side for animated movies. That left the princess movie with $34 million over the three-day period. Still, with kids out of school this feature will perform well on weekdays. In fact, it's already earned double its opening weekend (for a total of $134 million) due to strong performance Monday through Thursday.
In fourth place, Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection grabbed $26.2 million, also on the high side of expectations. Lionsgate reported that Perry's audiences are normally 80% black, but the casting of Eugene Levy and Denise Richards made the comedy more of a crossover hit, with the figure plateauing at 70%. One thing remained the same. Perry's pictures are beloved by females, who represented around 70% of the audience.
Squeaking into tenth place, the family drama People Like Us earned just $4.3 million. Audiences gave it a so-so B rating in exit polls.
Critical darling Beasts of the Southern Wild averaged $42,000 per screen in four locations over the weekend, a robust start for the Louisiana-set tale.
Moonrise Kingdom, which made a national, 854-screen push, brought in $4.8 million. This made the Wes Anderson-directed film his second-highest grossing feature to date. The Royal Tenenbaums earned $52 million in 2001.
Tomorrow, The Amazing Spider-Man will get a head start on Fourth of July crowds. The 3D concert doc Katy Perry: Part of Me will follow on Thursday, and Oliver Stone's Savages will open on Friday.