Ted 2 Movie Review

Like many comedy sequels before it, Ted 2 often has a troubling time justifying its own existence. Seth MacFarlane’s follow-up to his wildly successful 2012 hit finds the director a bit more unshackled with choreographed musical numbers and more abundant political humor. This doesn’t achieve the effect of making this more funny. To go down a cliched road, Ted 2 is bearable but struggles a bit to come to life.

When we open, Ted is tying the knot with girlfriend Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth) and things are going smoothly in the talking bear’s world. Not so much for Johnny (Mark Wahlberg), who’s down on his luck after divorcing Lori (Mila Kunis, who doesn’t appear). Within a year, Ted and Tami-Lynn are fighting and they figure a solution to their problems may be a baby. Since Ted is anatomically challenged in that area, adoption comes into play and after Tom Brady humorously rejects the notion of being a sperm donor, it’s left to Ted’s longtime friend. It all leads down a dangerous road where Ted is eventually deemed not to be a person by the state and this is where our main characters enlist new lawyer and pothead Sam (Amanda Seyfried) to help.

Ted 2 clumsily draws comparisons of Ted’s plight to that of gays and African Americans. We expect nothing less from MacFarlane than seriously un-PC comedy, yet these jokes fall flat more frequently than they hit. In fact, nearly everything here just simply cannot match the freshness of the original. Returning characters like the Ted obsessed Donny (Giovanni Ribisi) and Sam Jones (Flash Gordon if you recall) aren’t granted moments as uproarious as we’ve seen before. Whereas the relationship of Johnny and Lori was a strength in Ted, the forced romance between Johnny and Sam adds little.

Even with all those negatives, like a middling Family Guy episode, there are genuine laughs to be had. Many are throwaway lines and sight gags and MacFarlane and his cowriters Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild are too talented not to have some of the material succeed. Certain celeb cameos work more than others – Liam Neeson’s is a trip. There’s also smile inducing references to 80s genre classics of the past including The Breakfast Club and Planes, Trains and Automobiles. And Morgan Freeman (as a top civil rights lawyer) is put to decent use mainly due to his voice, as Ted aptly points out when they meet.

As I began though, the sequels that populate film comedy usually can’t match what made its predecessor special. That holds true here and its occasionally preachy overtones don’t help. Ted 2 made this big admirer of the original sometimes happy, but not enough to warrant its second life on the screen.

**1/2 (out of four)

Box Office Predictions: July 10-12

The box office stranglehold held by Pixar’s Inside Out and Jurassic World looks to finally come to an end this weekend as Despicable Me franchise spin-off Minions looks to easily dominate the box office. Two new entries also populate the crowded marketplace: Ryan Reynolds action thriller Self/less and found footage horror flick The Gallows. You can read my detailed prediction posts on all the newcomers here:




As stated, Minions could certainly flirt with an opening over $100 million, but I have it opening just shy of that mark. As for Self/less and The Gallows, I believe both will struggle to even make double digits and I’m predicting they won’t get there.

Current champs Inside Out and Jurassic should both slide a spot to the 2 and 3 position while dropping in the low 40s. In its second weekend, I’m predicting Terminator Genisys will fall a bit further than that after its disappointing opening while Magic Mike XXL looks to suffer a hefty decline after its surprisingly weak debut over the weekend.

And with that, we’ll make it a top seven prediction for this weekend:

1. Minions

Predicted Gross: $96.4 million

2. Inside Out

Predicted Gross: $17.3 million (representing a drop of 41%)

3. Jurassic World

Predicted Gross: $16.3 million (representing a drop of 43%)

4. Terminator Genisys

Predicted Gross: $14.5 million (representing a drop of 46%)

5. Self/less

Predicted Gross: $9.7 million

6. The Gallows

Predicted Gross: $8.9 million

7. Magic Mike XXL

Predicted Gross: $5.8 million (representing a drop of 54%)

Box Office Results (July 3-5)

While two holdovers continued their impressive reign at multiplexes, two newcomer sequels failed to meet expectations.

Pixar’s Inside Out narrowly reached the #1 spot with $29.7 million, finally breaking Jurassic World‘s three week hold at the top. This was just under my $30.5M estimate. Its three week total stands at a rock solid $245 million.

Jurassic slipped to second with $29.2 million, on pace with my $28.7M projection. The movie of summer 2015 has amassed a gargantuan $556 million at press time and looks to reach $650M when all is said and done.

In third, Terminator Genisys got off to a disappointing start with $27 million over the three day weekend and $42.4 million for its five day holiday gross. This is below my respective estimates of $31.2M and $48.4M. The franchise appears to have run out of gas and Genisys will need truly impressive international numbers to justify a sequel. As for Arnold’s post gubernatorial film career, it continues to be littered with financial letdowns.

It had a much smaller budget than Terminator, but final results were lackluster for the week’s other new sequel Magic Mike XXL. The Channing Tatum pic made just $12.8 million over the three day weekend and $27.8 million since its Wednesday roll out, far under my respective projections of $24.8M and $44M. Considering the original three years ago made $39.1 million in its first three days, this is an incredibly low opening.

And in even further bad grossing sequel news, Ted 2 continued its way lower than anticipated performance with a massive 67% drop in weekend #2 with only $11.1 million, under my $16.4M prediction. Its two week total stands at $58 million and it is very unlikely to even reach $100M. The original three summers ago made $218M.

And that’ll do it for now, ladies and gents. Until next time…

Box Office Predictions: July 3-5

Fireworks and hot dogs may be predictable on July 4th weekend, but 2015’s box office for the holiday is anything but. There are four pictures that all have legitimate shots at being #1 and they include newcomers Terminator Genisys and Magic Mike XXL. You can read my detailed predictions on each of them here:



Both face heavy competition from Jurassic World, which has been spent three weeks on its record breaking #1 run and Pixar’s Inside Out, which has itself set records while perched at second for the last two weeks.

As I see it, I believe there will be a photo finish between Terminator, Jurassic, and Inside Out with Magic Mike taking fourth place due to a projected front loaded five day gross when its hardcore female fans may rush to watch it Wednesday and Thursday. Genisys also opens Wednesday.

Ted 2 came in well below expectations this past weekend (more on that below) and looks to place fifth.

And with that, my predictions for the weekend:

1. Terminator Genisys

Predicted Gross: $31.2 million (Friday to Sunday), $48.4 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

2. Inside Out

Predicted Gross: $30.5 million (representing a drop of 41%)

3. Jurassic World

Predicted Gross: $28.7 million (representing a drop of 47%)

4. Magic Mike XXL

Predicted Gross: $24.8 million (Friday to Sunday), $44 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

5. Ted 2

Predicted Gross: $16.4 million (representing a drop of 51%)

Box Office Results (June 26-28)

As mentioned, Jurassic World continued its history making stampede and placed #1 for the third frame in a row with $54.5 million (ahead of my $51.1M estimate). The three week total stands at an amazing $500 million and looks to place third, if not second, on all time domestic earners.

Pixar’s Inside Out maintained its runner-up status with $52.3 million, in line with my $53.4M projection. Its two week total is $185 million and it should pass the $350M mark with relative ease.

Seth MacFarlane’s comedy sequel Ted 2 posted lackluster results that were well below expectations with $33.5 million, far below my $50.8M prediction. This is a far cry from the $54M earned by the original three summers ago.

The family dog drama Max debuted fourth to an OK $12.2 million, under my $13.9M prediction and Melissa McCarthy’s Spy rounded out the top five with $7.9 million – on pace with my $7.6M estimate for a total of $88M.

And that’s all for now, folks! Until next time…

Box Office Predictions: June 26-28

It’s been a record breaking June 2015 so far and this upcoming weekend looks to keep up the torrid box office pace as three films look to each earn $50M or more. There are two newcomers out: comedy sequel Ted 2 and military dog family drama Max. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each here:



The real question is what comes out on top this weekend? It could be Ted 2, which I have making slightly less than its 2012 predecessor out of the gate (though it could certainly earn more). It could be Jurassic World for the third weekend in a row as it looks to extend its record breaking box office pace. Or it could be Pixar’s Inside Out, which I anticipate having a smaller second weekend decline than Jurassic‘s third weekend drop off. As you’ll see below, I expect it to be a photo finish among all three.

Max should place a distant fourth with Spy rounding out the top five.

And with that, my predictions the weekend’s top five:

1. Inside Out

Predicted Gross: $53.4 million (representing a drop of 40%)

2. Jurassic World

Predicted Gross: $51.1 million (representing a drop of 52%)

3. Ted 2

Predicted Gross: $50.8 million

4. Max

Predicted Gross: $13.9 million

5. Spy

Predicted Gross: $7.6 million (representing a drop of 32%)

Box Office Results (June 19-21)

Several records once again fell by the wayside this weekend as Jurassic World remained #1 with $106.5 million to bring its total to $402M in just ten days. The dino reboot soared past my $88.3M projection and accomplished the largest second weekend in domestic history. World is well on its way to becoming the biggest grosser of summer 2015.

It may have come in second, but Pixar has much to celebrate with its amazing $90.4 million debut for Inside Out, well above my $71.4M prediction. The critically acclaimed animated feature had the highest opening for a story based on original material, outpacing Avatar‘s $77M previous record breaker. Additionally it scored the second largest debut for a Pixar property after only 2010’s Toy Story 3. It also set the record for biggest debut not to come in at #1 (previously held by the $68M earned by 2004’s The Day After Tomorrow). The only downside is it’s the first Pixar feature not to open on top, but don’t look for Disney to cry into their piles of money too much. Look for Inside Out to continue its impressive run in subsequent weekends.

Holdovers held up better than my estimates as Spy was third with $11.2 million (above my $9.1M estimate). San Andreas took fourth with $8.7 million (ahead of my $5.2M prediction). Their respective totals stand at $75M and $132M.

The only other newcomer, Dope, had a middling premiere with $6.1 million, under my $7.7M prediction.

And that’ll do it for now, folks! Until next time…

Ted 2 Box Office Prediction

One year following the critical and commercial disappointment of A Million Ways to Die in the West, Seth MacFarlane should find himself back in the good graces of audiences with Ted 2, out Friday. The sequel to the 2012 mega hit brings back Mark Wahlberg and most importantly, that foul mouthed talking teddy bear. Mila Kunis is out and Amanda Seyfried is in with Morgan Freeman and Liam Neeson among other new cast members.

Three summers ago, Ted debuted to a terrific $54.4 million on its way to a $218 million domestic take. The real question is whether or not part two exceeds the gross of the original out of the gate. This is certainly possible and it has the potential to reach $6o million or more next weekend. Yet I’m somewhat skeptical. There is a chance that the Ted novelty may have waned slightly and that may cause a debut slightly under its predecessor’s hot start. Critics were kind to the first and we’ve yet to see if that continues here. Its numbers might improve if word of mouth approaches that of the 2012 blockbuster, but that seems unlikely.

I’ll predict Ted 2 falls just shy of the $54 million achieved when Ted became the sleeper hit of summer 2012.

Ted 2 opening weekend prediction: $50.8 million

Summer 2015 Movies: The Predicted Century Club

The 2015 Summer Movie Season officially kicks off two weeks from today when Avengers: Age of Ultron blasts into theaters. It will compete for the largest domestic opening of all time (where it needs to beat its predecessor) and is highly likely to be the season’s highest earner. That got me to thinking – while Ultron is poised to gross $500 million or higher, it’s been the $100 million mark that studios still like to brag about. This prompted me to look at the past five summer flick seasons and how many pictures reached that milestone.

In 2010, it was 13 movies that reached the mark: Toy Story 3, Iron Man 2, Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Inception, Despicable Me, Shrek Forever After, The Karate Kid, Grown Ups, The Last Airbender, The Other Guys, Salt, Robin Hood, and The Expendables.

Things improved in 2011 with 18 films reaching the century club: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, The Hangover Part II, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Cars 2, Thor, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Captain America: First Avenger, The Help, Bridesmaids, Kung Fu Panda 2, X-Men: First Class, The Smurfs, Super 8, Horrible Bosses, Green Lantern, Bad Teacher, and Cowboys and Aliens.

The low mark was the following year in 2012 with just 12: The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, The Amazing Spider-Man, Brave, Ted, Madagascar 3, Men in Black 3, Ice Age: Continental Drift, Snow White and the Huntsman, Prometheus, Magic Mike, and The Bourne Legacy.

Yet the high mark came the following summer in 2013 with 19: Iron Man 3, Despicable Me 2, Man of Steel, Monsters University, Fast and Furious 6, Star Trek Into Darkness, World War Z, The Heat, We’re the Millers, The Great Gatsby, The Conjuring, Grown Ups 2, The Wolverine, Now You See Me, Lee Daniels’ The Butler, The Hangover Part III, Epic, Pacific Rim, and This is the End.

2014 dipped with 14: Guardians of the Galaxy, Transformers: Age of Extinction, Maleficent, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Godzilla, 22 Jump Street, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Neighbors, Lucy, The Fault in Our Stars, and Edge of Tomorrow. 

That averages out to 15 pictures earning $100M plus per summer over this decade.

So where do I have 2015 matching up? Not breaking records, but in good shape. My predictions for the year’s $100M earners is 16 and they are as follows (in order of release date): Avengers: Age of Ultron, Mad Max: Fury Road, Pitch Perfect 2, Tomorrowland, San Andreas, Spy, Jurassic World, Inside Out, Ted 2, Magic Mike XXL, Terminator: Genisys, Minions, Ant-Man, Trainwreck, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, and Fantastic Four. 

Of course, there’s always sleepers. And there’s others that I could have predicted but think will fall short: the Reese Witherspoon/Sofia Vergara comedy Hot Pursuit, horror remake Poltergeist, the film version of Entourage, the Adam Sandler video game inspired action comedy Pixels, the Vacation reboot, and the NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton are among them.

As predicted, summer 2015 should see its number of century club inductees on the slightly high end without reaching the heights of 2013. And as always, you’ll see box office predictions every Saturday from me on each and every one of ’em!

Todd’s 15 Most Anticipated 2015 Summer Movies: Nos. 10-6

This evening on the blog, part II of my Top 15 Most Anticipated 2015 Summer Movies!

If you missed part one covering numbers 15-11, you can find it right here:


We move forward into the Top Ten with numbers 10-6 before my final installment tomorrow revealing the top five.

Let’s get to it!

10. Ted 2

Release Date: June 26

Seth MacFarlane’s Ted was the comedic hit of summer 2012 with its foul talking teddy bear. Mark Wahlberg is back, though Mila Kunis is out with Amanda Seyfried in. Comedy sequels are a risky proposition, but let’s hope MacFarlane can recapture the magic he made three years ago (and couldn’t duplicate with last summer’s mediocre A Million Ways to Die in the West).

9. Straight Outta Compton

Release Date: August 14

F. Gary Gray, the man responsible for several music videos featuring the film’s subjects as well as Friday and The Italian Job, directs the musical bio of NWA – the highly influential gangsta rap group that included Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, and Eazy-E. Dre and Cube serve as producers.

8. Trainwreck

Release Date: July 17

Judd Apatow had a one two punch of comedy classics with 2005’s The 40 Year Old Virgin and 2007’s Knocked Up. His follow-ups, Funny People and This is 40, were just OK. Trainwreck is said to be a return to form based on word of mouth, with comedian Amy Schumer primed for a breakout starring role. Bill Hader and Lebron James (!) co-star.

7. Ant-Man

Release Date: July 17

The last time Marvel Studios had a feature thought to be outside the box and risky, it was last summer’s Guardians of the Galaxy and it turned out to be the season’s biggest hit. This studio knows what they’re doing and here we have Paul Rudd playing the title character with Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lilly in supporting roles.

6. Aloha

Release Date: May 29

For the past decade, Cameron Crowe’s filmography has been unimpressive with Elizabethtown and We Bought a Zoo. Let us not forget, though, that this is the man that brought us Say Anything, Jerry Maguire, and Almost Famous. Crowe’s latest is a romantic comedy with a truly impressive cast – Bradley Cooper (hot off American Sniper), Emma Stone, Bill Murray, Rachel McAdams, Alec Baldwin, and Danny McBride.

And that’ll do it for now, folks! Top five coming at you tomorrow…