UPDATE: The Avengers lives! In the final numbers released Monday, the superhero movie moved up to 10th place, extending its run in the Top 10 to nine weeks. The Chris Pine nonstarter People Like Us fell to 11th.
Sometimes what the box office needs is a team of all-star superheroes. And sometimes what it needs is a potty-mouthed talking bear.
Ted, the Mark Wahlberg-Seth MacFarlane stuffed-animal comedy, gave a jolt to the hot-and-cold, Avengers-dominated summer, blowing away forecasts—and Brave—with a $54.1 million Friday-Sunday debut, per estimates.
Tyler Perry's latest, Madea's Witness Protection, did its thing, opening with $26.4 million. It wasn't the biggest start for a Madea movie; it wasn't the smallest, either.
In its second week, reigning-champ Brave, held well, and, actually held better than last summer's Pixar entry, Cars 2, but still got trampled on, and dropped two places, down to third.
Pegged to open with about $30 million, à la Tatum's earlier 2012 hit, 21 Jump Street, Ted ended up performing like Men in Black 3—at one-fourth the budget expense.
It goes down as the eighth-biggest R-rated opener ever, and the single biggest non-sequel R-rated comedy, topping even The Hangover.
The opening-weekend audience looked like a convention for MacFarlane's Family Guy, with the movie, which marked the animator's big-screen directing debut, drawing heavily and mainly among young men.
Magic Mike was an even bigger bottom-line success story than Ted. Reputedly made for just $7 million, the Steven Soderbergh film outgrossed its production cost by more than five times. It is Tatum's third straight hit this year.
In limited release, the festival favorite Beasts of the Southern Wild was a monster, averaging a weekend-best $42,309 off four screens.
All told, ticket revenue was up a ton versus last week, and, more impressive, up a bit over the same Transformers-fueled weekend last year.
About the only film that didn't join in the fun was Chris Pine's People LIke Us. The new $16 million drama got left behind, averaging less than $2,100 per screen for a weak $4.4 milion start.
Also on the sidelines was G.I. Joe: Retaliation, the big-budget action movie that was supposed to open this weekend, but instead drew a late-in-the-game benching, which opened up a spot for Ted, originally slated for a mid-July release.
Tom Cruise's Rock of Ages, meanwhile, dropped out of the Top 10 after just a two-week stay. The same went for Adam Sandler's That's My Boy. Domestically, the two disappointments have grossed $34.9 million and $34.3 million, respectively.
Men in Black 3 also saw its Top 10 run end. And while the film looks to go down as the franchise's lowest-grossing installment domestically, it has become the series' top-grossing entry worldwide, with an overall take of just under $600 million.
With so many new movies opening, and with Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom pushing its way back into the Top 10, The Avengers likewise saw its time in the rankings end.
The history-making blockbuster lasted eight weeks in Top 10, and has taken in $606.3 million to date domestically.
Here's a complete look at the weekend's top movies, per Friday-Sunday domestic estimates as reported by the studios and Exhibitor Relations:
(Originally published at 9:02 a.m. PT on July 1, 2012.)