By DAVID GERMAIN
AP movie writer
July 03, 2012
LOS ANGELES — It’s both a bear and bull market for Hollywood.
The bear is “Ted,” Mark Wahlberg and Seth MacFarlane’s comedy for Universal Pictures about a talking teddy bear, which opened as the No. 1 movie with $54.1 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.
And the bulls are baring it in the Warner Bros. release “Magic Mike,” Channing Tatum and Steven Soderbergh’s male-stripper tale that debuted a strong No. 2 with $39.2 million.
The two new movies were backed by a deep bench, with Pixar Animation’s Disney fairy tale “Brave” holding up well at No. 3 with $34 million in its second weekend. “Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection,” the latest from the dependable breadwinner for Lionsgate Films, opened solidly at No. 4 with $26.4 million.
The four movies combined to keep Hollywood in the money compared to the same weekend last year, when “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” launched with $97.9 million.
It was an equally big weekend overseas, where two huge franchises got a head-start on their U.S. openings.
The 20th Century Fox animated sequel “Ice Age: Continental Drift” opened with $78 million in 34 international markets, while Sony’s “The Amazing Spider-Man” debuted with $50.2 million in 13 markets. “Amazing Spider-Man” opens domestically Tuesday for the Fourth of July weekend, while “Continental Drift” has its U.S. debut July 13.
Domestic revenues totaled $207.7 million, up 3 percent from the same weekend in 2011, according to box-office tracker Hollywood.com. That was quite an accomplishment, considering the Fourth of July fell on Monday last year, making it a long holiday weekend.
“It was absolutely astonishing that we’re beating the same weekend a year ago given the enormity of the film, the big sci-fi blockbuster that opened then,” Hollywood.com analyst Paul Dergarabedian said. “This played out like a holiday weekend without it really being a holiday weekend. It speaks volumes about the importance of having a wide variety of films in the marketplace.”
The only one that didn’t work among new wide releases was the sibling drama “People Like Us,” which tanked at No. 10 with $4.3 million. A DreamWorks release distributed by Disney, the movie features Chris Pine (Captain Kirk of “Star Trek”) as a man who gets himself into an awkward relationship with the half-sister (Elizabeth Banks) he never knew he had.
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