It's looking like another robust weekend at the summer box office as "Ted 2," "Inside Out" and "Jurassic World" enter a three-way race for No. 1.
The films are tracking to make between $45 million and $55 million, according to people familiar with prerelease audience surveys. Meanwhile, new offering "Max" is looking at a softer launch of $8 million to $12 million.
"Ted 2," from "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane, follows John (Mark Wahlberg) and his best friend Ted, a potty-mouthed teddy bear (voiced by MacFarlane). This time around, Ted finds himself seeking help from a lawyer (Amanda Seyfried) and a civil rights attorney (Morgan Freeman) so he and his new wife (Jessica Barth) can adopt a child.
The first film opened with a strong $54 million in 2012. Universal Pictures, which is releasing the comedy, expects a similar debut for the sequel. Like its predecessor, the R-rated comedy likely will attract largely younger male audiences.
"Max," which was developed, financed and produced by MGM Studios, follows a service dog who returns to the U.S. after suffering a traumatic experience. The film, which is being released by Warner Bros., cost about $20 million to make. It likely will play well in the red states and with family audiences.
Although "Jurassic World" is going into its third weekend, the film could still roar past competition. The latest installment has received decent reviews from critics and scored an A from the audience polling firm CinemaScore. It collected $1 billion worldwide faster than any film in history, Universal reported Monday.
The film, directed by Colin Trevorrow, follows dinosaur trainer Owen (Chris Pratt) as he tries to help the theme park from a new genetically modified dinosaur named Indominus Rex.
It became the second film in history to break $200 million in its opening weekend, following the $207.4-million opening of "The Avengers" in 2012. The film also notched the biggest haul in history for a film in its second weekend, with $106.6 million.
The blockbuster results have helped Universal claim its biggest year at the worldwide box office. The studio said Monday its worldwide box-office grosses have reached $3.8 billion.
However, "Inside Out," another Pixar hit, could take over the No. 1 spot in its sophomore weekend. The Pete Docter-directed film blew past early tracking expectations with a $90-million opening. Only "Toy Story 3," with a $110.3-million debut weekend in 2010, has opened bigger for Disney-owned Pixar.
The film follows an 11-year-old Midwestern girl named Riley who is steered through a life-changing move to San Francisco by the emotions in her head: Joy (voiced by Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black) and Disgust (Mindy Kaling).
Lauded by critics at the Cannes Film Festival, the film has a 98% positive rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes and an A grade from audience polling firm CinemaScore.
As of Sunday, the box office is up about 6.2% year-to-date as a slew of anticipated films continue to enter the marketplace. The upcoming Fourth of July weekend is expected to bring in moviegoers in droves, with "Magic Mike XXL" and "Terminator Genisys" on deck.
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