The box-office walk of Seth MacFarlane‘s “Ted 2” isn’t going to match the talk this weekend. The raunchy talking bear sequel sputtered to $13.2 million and third place in its debut Friday, and was muted by heavyweight holdovers “Jurassic World” and Pixar’s “Inside Out.”
Disney’s PG-rated family film was No. 1 with an estimated $14.9 million, while Universal’s blockbuster dinosaur sequel was close behind with $14.6 million. They are expected to build on their lead Saturday and Sunday and both movies are on pace for around $50 million for the three days, while “Ted 2” is looking at a disappointing $34 million opening weekend.
That’s $15 million below some analysts’ projections for Universal and Media Rights Capital’s R-rated comedy starring Mark Wahlberg and Amanda Seyfried. Had all three movies hit the $50 million mark for the weekend, it would have been the first time ever.
The original “Ted” took in $20.5 million on its first Friday of release in June of 2012, and went to $54 million in its first weekend, so this is a letdown. “Ted” became a pop culture sensation that summer, and took in $550 million at the box office globally. It was also the year’s top-selling comedy on DVD and Blu-Ray.
“Ted 2” will mark two misfires in a row for MacFarlane, who directed, co-wrote and provided the voice for the talking bear in both films, following last year’s “A Million Ways to Die in the West,” co-starring Charlize Theron. The comedy Western debuted with a weak $16.7 million last May and topped out at $43 million domestically.
Making matters worse for Universal and MRC is the fact that production budget for “Ted 2” was $85 million, which is $35 million greater than the original film. MacFarlane produced the live action/CG-animated comedy alongside Bluegrass Films’ Scott Stuber, as well as Jason Clark and John Jacobs, all returning from the original.
“Ted” writers Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild also returned to join MacFarlane, but the concept of a foul-mouthed teddy wasn’t as fresh and the sequel hasn’t been near the hit with critics. It’s at 46 percent positive on Rotten Tomatoes, compared to the original film’s 67 percent, and audiences gave it a “B+” CinemaScore.
“Max,” the weekend’s other wide opening film, got an “A” grade from first night audiences and took in $4.3 million for fourth place on Friday. That puts the tale of a military dog who returns from Afghanistan following his master’s death and lives with the fallen Marine’s family, on course for a better-than-expected $13 million weekend haul for Warner Bros.
Josh Wiggins, Thomas Haden Church, Robbie Amell and Lauren Graham star in the film directed by Boaz Yakin, who co-wrote with Sheldon Lettich. The reviews have been good and it is at 69 percent positive on Rotten Tomatoes.
As it did last weekend, the box-office race will come down to a battle between “Inside Out” and “Jurassic World” for the minivan crowd on Saturday and Sunday. The sequel to Steven Spielberg‘s 1993 sci-fi classic won that matchup with a record-breaking $106 million, the best second-weekend haul ever.
Writer-director Pete Docter’s “Inside Out,” which led after Friday last weekend, went on to finish with $91 million. That was the highest total ever for a film that didn’t open in the top spot and the best ever for an original movie, though it did end the run of 14 straight No. 1 debuts for Pixar.
“Inside Out” may have an edge this weekend. Disney added 186 theaters and it is in 4,132 theaters, nearly as many as the market-high 4,198 theaters that “Jurassic World” remains in after dropping 93 locations. “Ted 2” is in 3,442 theaters.
Considerably behind the leaders in fifth place was Fox’s “Spy,” which is on its way to a $7 million fourth weekend after taking in $2.1 million on Friday. That would put the R-rated comedy directed by Paul Feig and starring Melissa McCarthy at around $87 million after a month in release.
By comparison, “Bridesmaids” was at $107 million and “The Heat” had taken in $129 million after a month in release. Those two similarly R-rated Feig-McCarthy comedies went on to $169 million and $159 million domestic totals in 2011 and 2013, respectively.