The bear is "Ted," Mark Wahlberg and Seth MacFarlane's comedy for Universal Pictures about a talking teddy bear, which opened as the No. 1 movie with $54.1 million, according to studio estimates.
"Magic Mike," Channing Tatum and Steven Soderbergh's male-stripper tale, debuted strongly at No. 2 with $39.2 million.
The two new movies were backed by a deep bench, with Pixar Animation's Disney fairy tale "Brave" holding up well at No. 3 with $34 million in its second weekend. "Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection," the latest from the dependable breadwinner for Lionsgate Films, opened solidly at No. 4 with $26.4 million.
"Ted's" opening was the third-highest R-rated comedy debut, behind last year's "Hangover 2" ($85.9 million) and 2010's "Sex and the City 2" ($57 million), but it was the biggest ever R-rated non-sequel comedy opening.
It was an equally big weekend overseas, where two huge franchises got a head-start on their U.S. openings.
The 20th Century Fox animated sequel "Ice Age: Continental Drift" opened with $78 million in 34 international markets, while Sony's "The Amazing Spider-Man" debuted with $50.2 million in 13 markets. "Amazing Spider-Man" opens domestically Tuesday for the Fourth of July weekend, while "Continental Drift" has its U.S. debut July 13.
The only one that didn't work among new wide releases was the sibling drama "People Like Us," which tanked at No. 10 with $4.3 million. A DreamWorks release distributed by Disney, the movie features Chris Pine (Captain Kirk of "Star Trek") as a man who gets himself into an awkward relationship with the half-sister (Elizabeth Banks) he never knew he had.
"Ted" stars Wahlberg as a guy whose stuffed bear magically came to life when he was a boy, the two growing up together to become slacker, party-boy roommates. Writer-director MacFarlane, the creator of TV's "Family Guy," provides the voice of the bear, while "Family Guy" voice co-star Mila Kunis plays Wahlberg's girlfriend.
"Magic Mike" also far outstripped industry expectations. The weekend was a rare instance where two R-rated movies opened at Nos. 1 and 2, and it followed another unusual weekend where two PG-rated movies ("Brave" and "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted") led the box office.
Directed by Soderbergh, "Magic Mike" is inspired by Tatum's early career as a male stripper and features him as a veteran dancer who takes a newcomer (Alex Pettyfer) under his wing.
Not surprisingly, female fans made up 73 percent of the "Magic Mike" crowds.
Like "Ted" and "Magic Mike," "Madea's Witness Protection" did better than Hollywood anticipated. The heat wave likely attracted audiences into cool theaters.