Midnight Update:Ted and Magic Mike both got off to very strong starts at midnight. Ted earned $2.625 million from 1,090 locations, which is the third-highest midnight launch this Summer behind The Avengers and Prometheus.
Meanwhile, Magic Mike scored an excellent $2.05 million from 1,100 locations at midnight. Considering the unique nature of the movie, there aren't great comparisons available, but it was nearly three times higher than The Vow's $700,000 midnight launch (that was in February, though, so it isn't an apples-to-apples comparison).
Among recent Summer movies, both Ted and Magic Mike were higher than MIB 3 ($1.55 million) and Snow White and the Huntsman ($1.383 million), but lower than Prometheus ($3.56 million). It's hard to imagine either title opening north of $50 million, but at least $30 million for each seems reasonable at this point.
Forecast: The final weekend of June is also the most crowded so far this Summer, with four new nationwide releases competing to dethrone Disney/Pixar's Brave. At 3,239 locations, Seth MacFarlane's Ted aims to be the first R-rated comedy hit of the Summer, while Channing Tatum will woo female audiences at 2,930 theaters in male stripper flick Magic Mike. Also, Tyler Perry has his first Summer release with Madea's Witness Protection (2,161 venues), and Disney/DreamWorks takes a stab at adult counterprogramming with People Like Us (2,055 theaters).
With The Hangover Part II ($254.5 million), Bridesmaids ($169.1 million), Horrible Bosses ($117.5 million) and Bad Teacher ($100.3 million), last Summer was without a doubt the best Summer ever for R-rated comedies. That's not the case this year, though, as both The Dictator ($58.9 million) and That's My Boy ($31.4 million) have failed to deliver similar box office returns. That seems to be a problem more with supply than demand, as those two movies just weren't fresh enough to attract much interest.
Ted, on the other hand, seems more in line with those past hits than the duds of Summer 2012. The highly-original premise (a boy's wish brings a foul-mouthed teddy bear to life) has serious comic potential, and leads Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis both have broad appeal among both men and women. Also, being the first movie from Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane (and featuring his distinct voice as the title character) surely helps, as fans will be interested to see how his comedic sensibilities translate on the big screen. Universal is reporting that tracking is in line with last Summer's original R-rated hits like Bad Teacher and Bridesmaids;considering it's a big-time crowd-pleaser and there aren't really any comedies coming out for the next four weeks, a $25 million debut puts it in line for at least $100 million before the end of its run.
Magic Mike should definitely give Ted a run for its money, though, even if its audience is essentially limited to older women. While The Avengers and The Hunger Games are obviously the biggest box office hits of the year, the biggest box office star of the year is arguably Mr. Channing Tatum. The Magic Mike lead has so far starred in The Vow ($125 million) and 21 Jump Street ($138.3 million), which currently rank seventh and ninth on the 2012 yearly chart. If Magic Mike becomes a hit, it will be due in large part to his incredible appeal.
Warner Bros.'s advertisements for Magic Mike portray the movie as fun, escapist entertainment, and recent spots have instructed women to get their friends together for a ladies night out. Initially, there was some skepticism as to whether women would actually follow through, but that's been largely put to rest: Fandango reported yesterday that 53 percent of their ticket sales were for Magic Mike, suggesting this has become an "event" movie of sorts. Without date night crowds, it's hard to imagine the movie debuting as high as The Vow ($41.2 million), though it should still be in for strong initial attendance.