Foul-mouthed 'Ted' takes movie box office crown

Sun Jul 1, 2012 3:03pm EDT
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By Piya Sinha-Roy and Lisa Richwine

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Comedy "Ted," starring a foul-mouthed teddy bear, won the battle at movie box offices over the weekend, taking in a surprising $54.1 million in the United States and Canada and beating Channing Tatum's steamy role as a male stripper in "Magic Mike."

"Ted," the first feature film directed by "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane, stars Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis and MacFarlane as the voice of the teddy bear who comes to life for his owner and swears, smokes pot and makes lewd jokes.

"Ted" set a record as the highest-grossing opening weekend for an original, non-sequel R-rated comedy in North America, topping 2009's "The Hangover," which debuted just under $50 million.

Media Rights Capital produced "Ted" for about $50 million and sold the film to Universal, which had projected opening weekend sales of between $26 million and $36 million.

"Magic Mike" danced into second place, scoring $39.2 million in domestic theaters. The adult comedy was inspired by Tatum's real-life experience as a stripper when he was 18, and also stars Matthew McConaughey and Alex Pettyfer.

"We're thrilled with the results. Steven Soderberg hit one out of the park. He made it for $7 million and it's a phenomenal result," said Dan Fellman, president of theatrical distribution for Warner Bros., a unit of Time Warner Inc.

Initial estimates projected the film's opening weekend in a range around $20 million, which it generated on the opening night alone.

"The movie certainly benefited from viral exposure, and the women that showed up on Friday night - a lot showed up in groups - it was very similar to how "Sex and The City" performed in its opening weekend," said Fellman.   Continued...

Writer, director and cast member Seth MacFarlane poses at the premiere of "Ted" at the Grauman's Chinese theatre in Hollywood, California June 21, 2012. The movie opens in the U.S. on June 29. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni