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The 10 Highest Grossing Films Set in Boston

By Dustin Rowles | Film | July 1, 2012 |

By Dustin Rowles | Film | July 1, 2012 |

It was a huge weekend at the box office, especially for older moviegoers, as two R-rated films placed number one and number two in what is now the highest grossing June weekend on record. Those first of those films was Seth MacFarlane’s Ted, which racked up $54 million to become the 8th highest opening ever for an R-Rated film, and the third highest opening weekend for an R-Rated comedy. Also, it was funny. It still stings to acknowledge that.

More painful is the fact that Ted, a movie that I hated to love, will probably also go down as the highest-grossing Boston-set movie in box-office history, too. Right now, $138 million is the mark to beat, and after one weekend, Ted already has $54 million. If you’re curious, these are the 10 Highest Grossing Boston-set films (and I don’t mean films where the Boston setting was incidental, nor do I mean movies that were set in Boston but not filmed in Boston. I mean, films where the Boston setting played some significant role in the film.)

1. Good Will Hunting ($138 million)

2. The Departed ($132 million)

3. Shutter Island ($128 million)

4. The Social Network ($96 million)

5. The Town ($92 million)

6. Mystic River ($90 million)

7. 21 ($81 million)

8. A Civil Action ($56 million)

9. Ted ($54 million — and counting*)

10. The Verdict ($53 million)


Meanwhile, the number two film, Magic Mike, racked up an impressive $39 million on only a $5 million budget ($3 million of which went to Charming Potato’s fluffers) to become Steve Soderbergh’s highest-grossing opener ever (ahead of even the Ocean’s films). The bad news, however, is that the box-office was very front-loaded (much of its gross came on Friday) and like Soderbergh’s last film, Haywire, it didn’t score that well on Cinemascore. Audiences really just wanted to see male strippers and were turned off by all the actual, heavy drama in the film, it seems. Their loss.

Brave dropped to third, and despite a lack of competition, had a steep decline of 49 percent to $34 million, though it is still in line for a $200 million domestic gross. Tyler Perry’s latest, Madea’s Witness Protection, took fourth place with $24 million while Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted landed in fifth.

Good news for Wes Anderson: His Moonrise Kingdom rolled out into nearly 900 theaters, added over $4 million, and with $18 million so far, looks to become Anderson’s second highest grosser behind The Royal Tenenbaums.

Also, for the second week in a row, fairly well reviewed, modest dramas (both of which l liked a great deal) suffered from being released during the summer. Last week, Steve Carell’s Seeking a Friend at the End of the World opened with only $3.8 million while this week, Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks could only squeeze $4.3 million out of People Like Us (and as someone who saw Magic Mike, Ted and People Like Us on the same day, the latter was actually my favorite, though the margin of error is my sentimental streak). Both films would’ve been better position in the fall.

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.