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Source: Jeff "Willy Westwood" Bock
Date: Jun 28, 2012

The floodgates have officially been opened on summer 2012, as four new films flow into theatres this weekend: two comedies, a drama, and banana hammocks galore will expose themselves in multiplexes. However, Pixar’s “Brave” is expected to be top banana again, although, Warner’s “Magic Mike” certainly knows a thing or two about bananas, as it has been giving audiences hot flashes and forming female flash mobs leading up to its curtain call.

Yes, according to Fandango, advance ticket sales have been raising the roof, which has really boosted the all-male review in tracking this week. In fact, the industry hasn’t seen this much social pre-planning since “Sex and the City” shocked Hollywood in 2008 when it debuted with a brassiere-busting $57 million.    

Director Steven Soderbergh and once-upon-a-time stripper Channing Tatum team up here for a dramedy that is basically being sold as “Thunder From Down Under: The Movie.” They promise the goods, and deliver, sort of. There is actually more gratuitous female nudity than male nudity, if you’re really keeping score, but butt-cheeks abound and surely gaggles of girls will go home giggling with delight. Channing Tatum really does have moves like Jagger, and Matthew McConaughey is at his best—a master showman.    

It’s not the size of the wand, it’s the magic it creates, and “Magic Mike” is a small film (reportedly made for under $10 million), yet looks destined to put on a big, big show this weekend. Heck, it will probably make back its budget on opening night. That’s good news for Warner Bros. which will make a tidy profit off this exploitation, too bad they didn’t do some cross-promotional marketing with Jersey Mike’s Subs, as they really missed out with that “Magic Mike” foot-long deal.

Truth be told, “Magic Mike” leans to the left of comedy, as its certainly more “Saturday Night Fever” than “The Full Monty,” however that won’t stop girls from lining up around the corner to see the gun show on 2,930 stages. Expect upwards of $33 million, possibly more if presales equal real sales throughout the weekend.   

Fighting for third place then, will likely be a perverted Teddy bear vs. Tyler Perry as they square off in “Ted” and “Madea’s Witness Protection,” respectively.  

Seth MacFarlane brings his potty humor to the next level (aka R-rated) as he jumps from the small screen (“Family Guy”) to the big leagues, making his directorial debut with Universal’s comedy. He also voices the title character that has a mouth only a mother could love—Teddy Ruxpin he ain’t.

The $65 million “Ted” looks to become the first bonafide comedy hit of the summer after the disappointing grosses of “That’s My Boy” and “The Dictator.” With Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis as the non-CGI co-stars, expect upwards of $27 million in 3,239 theatres.

Don’t count out Madea though, as Perry’s signature franchise topped $40 million with “Madea Goes to Jail” in 2009 and “Madea’s Family Reunion” hit $30 million in 2006.  However, his last fat-suit film, 2011’s “Madea’s Big Happy Family” trailed off with $25 million. Still, when Tyler Perry whips out his latest Madea joint, he may just surprise “Ted” with his girth, especially if the hordes of Madea fans show up in full-force. Tyler Perry’s phat haul: $23 million at 2,161 sites.

Last and certainly least is Disney and DreamWorks’ drama “People Like Us” starring Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks.  It’s very doubtful people will “like” this, or even knows what this is when they walk up to the ticket booth. Have mercy on the little drama that attempts to debut during the big, bad blockbuster season: $6 million. 



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