Pot-smoking teddy bear a hit at CinemaCon

Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:29pm EDT
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By Brent Lang

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Universal brought Snow White, Bourne and a battleship to CinemaCon on Thursday in the hopes of astonishing theater owners, but all it really needed to pack was a pot-smoking teddy bear.

With a reported budget of $65 million, Seth MacFarlane's "Ted" was made for a fraction of what it cost to blow up half the Navy in "Battleship," but the resounding laughter that greeted the extended footage indicates the studio might have a huge R-rated hit on its hands.

The film centers on a boy whose Christmas wish comes true after his teddy bear comes to life. But that dream turns more nightmarish when the pair grows up.

Universal highlighted the stuffed bear, played by McFarlane in a motion-capture suit, hanging out with prostitutes, taking hits from a bong and humping a cash register - all activities that would be pretty foreign to, say, Winnie the Pooh.

Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis star along with MacFarlane. The reaction was so enthusiastic that Adam Fogelson, Universal Pictures chairman who was emceeing the event, probably did not mind when he found himself the target of MacFarlane's raunchy zingers.

"You have the boyish charm of Rick Santorum," MacFarlane told Fogelson.

Later, MacFarlane dared the studio chief to expose himself. Fogelson opted to keep his appendage in trou.

Universal also screened footage of "Snow White and the Huntsman," bringing out stars Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron to preview an extended trailer that has the title character leading a band of knights and dwarves to battle against the wicked queen.   Continued...

Mark Wahlberg in a scene from Seth MacFarlane's "Ted". REUTERS/Universal Pictures