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Weekend Wrap-Up: Ted Helps the Box Office Come Alive

July 2nd, 2012

The box office wasn't as close a race as some had predicted, as Ted ran away with things breaking records in the process. That's not to say the competition was weak. Both Magic Mike and Tyler Perry's Madeas Witness Protection beat expectations and this helped the overall box office grow 61% from last weekend. It also grew 4% from last year, which normally wouldn't seem like a big deal, but this weekend last year was the Independence Day long weekend. For 2012 to win despite the misalignment is amazing and hopefully this is a good sign for the coming weeks. Year-to-date, 2012 still holds a solid lead over 2011, $5.43 billion to $5.06 billion. Percentwise the lead is now 7%, which is a great position to be in at the halfway mark of the year.

I had a gut feeling Ted would be a bigger hit than most analysts were predicting, but even at my most bullish I didn't expect an opening of $54.42 million. This is the biggest opening ever for a non-sequel R-rated comedy, a record previously held by The Hangover. Ted's reviews were not quite as strong as The Hangover's reviews were, but strong enough to suggest good word-of-mouth. I'm not willing to predict it will have anywhere close to the same legs, but it should reach $100 million by this time next week. Assuming the film didn't cost a crazy amount to make, it will make a profit on its domestic run alone, which is a very rare thing. It will also mean Seth MacFarlane will have plenty of chances to make more movies in the future.

Magic Mike almost matched Ted on opening night with $19.37 million on Friday, but it utterly collapsed on Saturday and by the end of Sunday, it was a distant second with $39.13 million. Does this mean it was a terrible movie? No. Its Tomatometer Score was 78% positive, so we have to look elsewhere to explain this result. We don't have to look far: Fangirl Effect. Because of this weak internal multiplier, I'm worried about its chances going forward. There is a slim chance the film will fail to reach $80 million in total, but if it can recover over the Independence Day Long Weekend, it might instead top $100 million. Let's hope it is the latter.

Brave was able to cross $100 million over the weekend, but it did fall a little faster than expected down 49% to $34.09 million over the weekend for a total of $131.77 million after two. There are few possible explanations for this. Firstly, The Fanboy Effect. While family films generally don't have this problem, Pixar movies are the exception. On a related note, its reviews were weaker than the studio's average, so can be considered disappointing and that would hurt its legs. Also, I've seen the theory floated around that mothers rushed to Magic Mike this weekend instead of taking their kids to see Brave a second time. I don't know how likely that is, but it is a fun theory.

Up next was Tyler Perry's Madeas Witness Protection with $25.39 million. This is better than average for Tyler Perry and very likely more than it cost to make. On the other hand, the film's reviews were among the director's worst. His films normally have poor legs and the reviews suggest this one will be no different.

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted added $11.84 million and now has $180.04 million. At this pace, it should top $200 million before long, becoming the first in the franchise to do so.

The final wide release of the week was People Like Us, which missed the top ten with just $4.26 million. It did manage to avoid missing the Mendoza Line, but it was so close theater owners will be dropping the film as fast as possible, so reviews hardly matter when it comes to the film's legs.

Moving onto the sophomore class, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter fell 63% to $6.01 million over the past three days for a ten-day total of $29.04 million. Its per theater average is low enough that it will likely lose a substantial number of theaters this weekend. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World plummeted 72% to just $1.07 million over the weekend for a total of $6.62 million after two. Its per theater average is just $665. If the film hasn't lost most of its theaters by this weekend, I would be shocked.


Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, Brave, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, People Like Us, Ted, Magic Mike, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection