Monday Morning Quarterback Part I

By BOP Staff

July 2, 2012

I think I sprained my spleen!

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Important note: Do not take your children to see this movie. Really. Even though it's about a teddy bear.

Kim Hollis: Ted, the movie debut from Family Guy/American Dad creator Seth MacFarlane, became the highest domestic opening for a non-sequel R-rated comedy, earning $54.4 million. How surprised are you by this turn of events and what do you take from it?

Jason Barney: Pretty surprised. I know some people who really liked the trailer, but this came out of nowhere. I think most expected Brave to win the weekend again, but this is a not only a home run for Ted, it's a Grand Slam. Most had it tracking near $30 million, so for it to do this well against four new openers and Brave is pretty amazing. It is hard to peg why this over performed so well. The bear in the ads was pretty cute, and maybe people were just willing to sit back and embrace the silliness of the concept. Whatever the reason, there is no question Ted is one of the surprise hits of the summer. For this movie to have an opening in the ballpark of MIB3, Snow White, and Brave...that says something.


Tim Briody: It's definitely pretty shocking, mostly for the size of the breakout, but at the same time, maybe we shouldn't be so surprised. Family Guy is still a thing (to me it helped that McFarlane voiced Ted like Peter Griffin), after recent successes like The Hangover and Bridesmaids, it had been a while since a big comedy (21 Jump Street), and it just plain looked funny. The restricted trailer is gold.

Bruce Hall: Well, there was a huge GI Joe sized hole in the release schedule this week, and it was apparently a wise move for Universal to take advantage of this, moving Ted in from the second week in July. Plus, as much as many adults enjoyed things like The Hunger Games, The Avengers, and even sitting through Brave with the kids, it was high time for a solidly funny adult comedy where people are actually allowed to swear a little. Well...a lot...actually. In the tradition of Wedding Crashers and The Hangover, Ted was an unexpected and welcome diversion from business as usual. For those, like myself, who patiently await the day when Seth MacFarlane will finally become powerful enough to exercise full dominion over the trembling masses of humanity, the success of Ted hastens that glorious day.

Edwin Davies: I'm very surprised by this result. I'm one of the people who really liked the early trailers and, even as someone who has lost interest in MacFarlane's TV work over the years and still thought the film looked pretty solid, the most I thought it would manage would have been $40 million, or probably less. As to why this happened, I think it's easy to spot the underlying factors, even if I personally underestimated their importance; MacFarlane has a big fan base from Family Guy and American Dad, many of whom probably wanted to see what a film from him would be like (a fact reflected in the marketing, which pointed out over and over that it was "The first film from the creator of Family Guy); there has been a dearth of R-rated comedies since 21 Jump Street came out back in March, and those that have come out in that time have been indifferently (The Dictator) or hostilely (That's My Boy) received; and, again, the trailers were pretty funny. It also probably helped that, even though it was opening on the same weekend as another R-rated film, Magic Mike probably attracted a more narrowly defined audience, whilst Ted had a pretty broad appeal.

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