In an eclectic week of new releases, Seth MacFarlane's feature debut "Ted" looks to be in a good position to challenge for the top box office spot, though it will have to beat out Disney/Pixar's "Brave" as it heads into its second weekend in theaters. Also likely to put up some strong opening numbers will be Tyler Perry's "Madea's Witness Protection," which could reach all the way to number one if it hits with its target demographic. Other new releases this weekend include Steven Soderbergh's drama "Magic Mike" starring Channing Tatum and inspirational drama "People Like Us," a limited release that should have a fairly small impact on the box office.
After 10 seasons working on smash hit TV series "Family Guy," comedian Seth MacFarlane looks to make his transition to the big screen with "Ted," a live-action film starring Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis. With an R-rating, "Ted" clearly is aiming at adult audiences familiar with "Family Guy," giving it a large built-in audience to appeal to over the weekend. "Ted" also has the advantage of minimal genre competition, as there shouldn't be another R-rated comedy that lands in the top ten this weekend.
Not only does "Ted" have a good time for a release but it also has decent critical backing, which can only help it get off the ground in its first weekend in theaters. Hitting roughly 3,000 total venues, "Ted" should be able to post an opening somewhere in the $30 to $35 million range, which might be enough to overtake "Brave" as the top earner at the box office.
Also hitting theaters with a strong fan following will be "Madea's Witness Protection," the latest outlandish comedy from writer/director/actor Tyler Perry. Perry's Madea character has done very well at the box office so far, with consistent openings of more than $25 million despite releases in the 2,000-theater range. The series peaked back in 2009 with "Madea Goes to Jail," which made a staggering $41 million at just 2,203 theaters in its opening weekend.
Though the last "Madea" release, "Big Happy Family," didn't do quite as well in theaters as "Madea Goes to Jail," a summer release should help pick the series back up and numbers could be very big this weekend. "Madea's Witness Protection" should be able to earn at least $30 million this weekend, though it could do considerably better if it really clicks with its target audience. If it can bring in $35 million or more, "Madea's Witness Protection" could give Perry his second chart-topping release.
Aiming at a different demographic this weekend will be director Steven Soderbergh's "Magic Mike," a comedy/drama starring Channing Tatum alongside Matthew McConaughey and Alex Pettyfer. "Magic Mike" brings some solid critical support and some popular cast members, though at 2,900 total theaters it doesn't seem that Warner Brothers is too hopeful for a big opening weekend. With an R-rating, "Magic Mike" will lose some adult moviegoers to both "Ted" and "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter," which could limit it to an opening of below $20 million this weekend.
The final wide release of the weekend is "People Like Us," a PG-13 drama starring Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks. With a small production budget of only $16 million and a release of roughly 2,000 theaters, Dreamworks is expecting a fairly small opening weekend and it's unlikely that "People Like Us" will be able to squeeze into the top five. Expect "People Like Us" to earn somewhere around $6-$9 million and to have a fairly minimal impact at the box office over the next few weeks.
While new releases look to make an impact this weekend, Disney/Pixar's "Brave" should easily find family audiences once again. Though there has been some criticism that "Brave" is too scary for younger children, numbers so far have still been very solid and "Brave" looks like the favorite to finish atop the charts for the second consecutive weekend. Without any new genre competition, expect a second weekend that's close to $35 million.
Next week should be a very busy one in theaters as franchise reboot "The Amazing Spider-Man" reaches theaters in time for the Fourth of July. Hitting theaters this upcoming Tuesday, "Spider-Man" should put up enormous revenues thanks to holiday audiences and a high level of fan interest. Oliver Stone's R-rated thriller "Savages" will hit theaters a few days later as will music documentary "Katy Perry: Part of Me."
RTT Box Office Predictions for 6/29/12 - 7/1/12 (In Millions):
1. Brave (Disney): $34
2. Ted (Universal): $33
3. Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection (Lionsgate): $31
4. Magic Mike (Warner Brothers): $19
5. Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (Paramount/Dreamworks): $12
6. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (Fox): $8.2
7. People Like Us (Dreamworks): $8
8. Prometheus (Fox): $5.2
9. Rock of Ages (Warner Brothers/New Line): $4
10. The Avengers (Disney): $3.8
by RTT Staff Writer
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