Box Office: Ted & Magic Mike Defy Expectations

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The ComingSoon.net Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films and then check back on Monday for the final figures based on actual box office.

In past years, the summer has been all about sequels and prequels and remakes and reinventions of pre-existing source material, so imagine Hollywood’s surprise when it woke up this morning to see not one, not two, but all three of the Top 3 movies being based on original ideas and scripts rather than something we’d seen many times before. While all three movies were quite daring for their respective studios and filmmakers, part of the big bump for the weekend can probably be attributed to the grueling heatwave hitting the East Coast with audiences flocking to theaters for air conditioning.

Sitting pretty at #1 was the very first feature film and foray into live action by “Family Guy” and “Cleveland Show” creator Seth MacFarlane, whose R-rated comedy Ted, co-starring Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis, brought in an astounding $54.1 million in $3,239 theaters. It was Universal’s second movie of the month to open over $50 million and third of the year–they are the only studio with three $50 million plus openers this year–but this one is particularly impressive since it’s only their second movie to open above that benchmark without being a sequel or based on a preexisting property. (Points to anyone who can name the other one!) In the meantime, Mike Judge, creator of MacFarlane’s former channel-mate “King of the Hill,” may be scratching his head this morning, wondering why none of his three live action comedies took off theatrically like Ted.

Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey took it all off for Steven Soderbergh’s stripper drama Magic Mike (Warner Bros.), co-starring Alex Pettyfer and Cody Horn, which opened in second place with an estimated $39.1 million in 2,930 theaters, although it was fairly front loaded to its Friday opening of $19.4 million, nearly half its first weekend gross. Based on Channing Tatum’s own story of his early days stripping, Magic Mike is Tatum’s third movie of the year to open over $35 million, following The Vow and 21 Jump Street, and if that isn’t enough to put him among the upper echelon of box office stars, then nothing else will do the trick.

Before we get to the rest of the top 10, Sony’s reboot of The Amazing Spider-Man, which opens in North America on Tuesday July 3, was launched internationally in 13 Asian markets and brought in $50.2 million with Korea scoring $13.4 million on 1,213 screens, the third-highest opening for a Hollywood movie behind the last two “Transformers” movies; it opened 24% higher than Spider-Man 3 and 10% higher than The Avengers. Japan claimed $11.4 million on 1,092 screens, 84% of that country’s weekend box office. The other Asian countries including India–where it set a new opening record for a Hollywood film with just $6 million–the Phillippines, Taiwan, Hong Kong and more also showed huge openings on par with other major blockbusters.

Third place went to Disney•Pixar’s latest animated hit Brave, which dropped to third place with $34 million, down 49% from its opening weekend due to the influx of strong new movies for audiences looking for original material.

Atlanta media mogul Tyler Perry brought his latest Madea comedy, Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection, co-starring Eugene Levy and Denise Richards, to 2,161 theaters where it took in an estimated $26.3 million. It fared slightly better than Madea’s previous outing Madea’s Big Happy Family, which opened with $25.1 million, but not as well as Madea Goes to Jail ($41 million) and Madea’s Family Reunion ($30 million).

DreamWorks Animation’s Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (Paramount) dropped to fifth place with $11.8 million and $180 million to date. That’s the amount where Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa stalled out four years back, but it’s well on its way to bringing in $200 million by summer’s end despite the looming “Ice Age” sequel on its way.

Ice Age: Continental Drift opened internationally in 34 markets this weekend to avoid the coming Olympics, and it grossed $78 million on 9,505 screens, well in advance of its July 13 North American opening.

The historic action bomb Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (20th Century Fox) dropped a horrifying 63% with just $6 million over the weekend to bring its total to $29 million domestically. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem like much hope for the movie internationally, though maybe director Timur Bekmambetov’s Russian audience will give the movie a boost once it opens overseas.

Ridley Scott’s sci-fi prequel Prometheus (20th Century Fox) took seventh place with $4.9 million and $118.3 million total. If you feel like considering this a part of the “Aliens” franchise then it’s the highest-grossing movie of the series, having surpassed Aliens‘ $85.2 million.

Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom (Focus Features), starring Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Edward Norton and Frances McDormand, expanded nationwide into 854 theaters and made $4.8 million, enough to move it back into the Top 10 at position #8 with $18.3 million grossed since opening last month.

Ninth place went to Universal’s other hit Snow White and the Huntsman, which added another $4.4 million to its domestic take of $145.1 million.

Opening in 2,055 theaters, Alex Kurtzman’s drama People Like Us (DreamWorks/Disney) was hoping to bring in audiences with the star power of Chris Pine, Elizabeth Banks, Michelle Pfeiffer and Olivia Wilde but with so much competition for female audiences, it tanked with just $4.3 million to open in tenth place with less than $2,300 per site.

While Marvel’s The Avengers finally dropped out of the Top 10 with the $4.2 million it made this weekend, no one is probably crying with $606.3 million banked just domestically since opening less than two months ago.

This week’s Top 10 took in roughly $190 million, which is just slightly higher than the same weekend last year when Michael Bay’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon slammed into theaters with $97.9 million, but that weekend was also enhanced by the 4th of July falling on a Monday, so this is a really good showing for this week’s movies.

Opening in four theaters in New York and L.A. on Wednesday, the Sundance darling Beasts of the Southern Wild (Fox Searchlight) brought in $169 thousand, averaging $42 thousand per site, and earning $220,000 in five days.

Click here for the full box office results of the top 12 films.