By Shawn Robbins
Pop culture comedy fans, rejoice! Universal Pictures announced this morning that Seth MacFarlane's Ted 2 will bow on Friday, June 26, 2015. The original film grossed a stellar $218.7 million domestically and $330.6 million overseas. A sequel was a foregone conclusion after last year's stunning $54.4 million opening weekend.
How will Ted 2 affect the evolving Summer 2015 schedule?
Make no mistake: this is a smart play on Universal's end. For all the blockbusters currently positioned between May and September 2015, this is the first R-rated comedy on the calendar. Given how well films such as The Heat, We're the Millers, Ted itself, Bridesmaids, and Horrible Bosses have done over the last few summers, moviegoers are clearly demanding more adult-oriented laughers during the lucrative season. Remember how well The Hangover Part II opened in 2011 off the heels of the original's phenomenal reception? Ted 2 is poised to accomplish something very similar.
Ted 2's placement may have an adverse effect on previously established July releases, though. The Terminator reboot and Independence Day 2 are, respectively, slated for July 1 and July 3 openings, and two Fridays later will see the launch of Zack Snyder's still-untitled Superman/Batman flick. Combined with June's Jurassic World and Assassin's Creed, male action fans will get more than their fill of options at the box office. The danger studios now risk is a fate which crippled some of Summer 2013's highest profile flicks: the likes of White House Down, The Lone Ranger, and Pacific Rim faltered domestically in the wake of Man of Steel and World War Z during a string of five consecutive weekends where audiences quickly burnt out on adrenaline rushes.
Interestingly, August 2015 is still barren as no studio has staked a claim in that month (and, of course, everyone is avoiding May thanks to Avengers: Age of Ultron). It seems unlikely that Fox would re-position Independence Day 2, however, Paramount would be wise to consider August for Terminator. Being sandwiched in between Ted 2 and ID4-2 won't be a good way to reinvigorate that franchise, and the final month of summer has proven that it can house solid box office runs through the likes of Rise of the Planet of the Apes and the Bourne sequels.
As always, let the game of release date musical chairs play on.
Phil Contrino contributed to this report
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