Coming out on top. Despite some less-than-enthusiastic reviews, moviegoers have spoken, and what they want is a dirty-mouthed, weed-smoking teddy bear. Seth MacFarlane's Ted debuted to $54.1 million at the domestic box office, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which is the best showing ever for an R-rated comedy. The film broke the record formerly hed by The Hangover, which debuted to $45 million in 2009.
Ted, the movie with the talking stuffed animal that A.O. Scott of The New York Times called "a harmless little film" and "a wasted effort," in the same paragraph. Ted, now a record-breaking film. Unbelievable.
Steven Soderbergh's Magic Mike also overperformed, grossing $39.2 million, in part because ex-stripper Channing Tatum stars in the film, playing a stripper. Women made up 73 percent of the film's audience. The age range of the audience was also varied and impressive: 43 percent of the audience was over the age of 35.
It's the first time in history that two R-rated films grossed more than $20 million on the same weekend. Male strippers and stoned stuffed animals. We should probably enter the film business.
Rounding out the middle. The other major debut this weekend was Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection, which grossed $26.3 million on its opening weekend, according to Indiewire. The film which featured a predominantly white cast, took its slot as the 3rd biggest opening for a Madea movie and the 4th highest opening out of the 12 films that Tyler Perry has directed.
The film has already earned back more than its production budget. Which probably means that Madea won't be going away anytime soon.
Dragging down the bottom. The last new nationwide release this weekend broke no records. Written and directed by Alex Kurtzman, who wrote Cowboys & Aliens and Transformers, the family drama People Like Us grossed $4.3 million during its debut weekend. Based on a true story, the film follows Sam (Chris Pine), a twenty-something, frenetic salesman whose latest deal falls through on the day he learns that his father has died. In order to take care of the procedural horrors one must confront when a family member dies, Sam is forced to return home and reconnect with his estranged family. People Like Us, which also stars Elizabeth Banks, opened to mixed reviews.
U.S.A. Today ran Claudia Pulg's review with this headline: "'People Like Us' Features Unreal People.'" The headline for David Voight's Examiner.com review: "You Don't Want to Know These 'People Like Us.'" Stephen Holder's review in The New York Times was a bit more encouraging. "The movie feels unnervingly real until the plot’s formulaic machinery kicks in," he said.
Perhaps Kurtzman just needs a few more tryout runs before the transition from sci-fi to based-on-a-true-stories.