John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) has been divorced from Lori Collins for six months. Meanwhile, his best friend Ted (Seth MacFarlane), marries his girlfriend, Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth). One year later, following a heated argument, they decide to have a child. As Ted can not have children, John agrees to help Ted find a sperm donor, They asked Sam J. Jones but he refuses due to a low sperm count, they try unsuccessfully to break into Tom Brady's house and steal his sperm. Ultimately, John offers to donate his sperm.
Despite Ted and John's efforts, Tami-Lynn's historical drug use has rendered her infertile and the couple decide to adopt. As background checks are carried out, Ted brings his legal status as a person into question. The state authorities of Massachusetts declare Ted property rather than a person, resulting in the loss of his job at a grocery store - shortly after reassuring a customer (Liam Neeson) that buying a box of Trix, as an adult, will not bring him to any harm. Furthermore, his marriage to Tami-Lynn is annulled.
John suggests that they take the state to court, and their case is assigned to a novice lawyer pro-bono, Samantha Leslie Jackson (Amanda Seyfried). The three bond over their love of marijuana as they prepare to present the case.
Meanwhile, Donny (Giovanni Ribisi), Ted's life-long stalker and would-be abductor, is now employed as a janitor at the headquarters of toy company Hasbro, in New York City. He convinces the company CEO to hire an expert attorney (John Slattery) to ensure that Ted maintains his status as property, therefore leaving him open to seizure by the firm to create more living teddy bears.
Despite Samantha's best efforts, the court rules against Ted. Disheartened but desperate, the trio contact Patrick Meighan (Morgan Freeman), a highly respected civil rights attorney, hoping he'll take the case and overturn the court's decision. Driving to Manhattan to meet him, Ted crashes into a hidden marijuana patch, where Samantha and John realize their attraction for each other. The next day, the trio meet Meighan, who is sympathetic to Ted's plight but ultimately refuses the case, as he believes he has not significantly contributed to humanity due to his juvenile slacker lifestyle.
Ted, angry at the injustice and jealous of Samantha and John's new relationship, wanders off. Donny follows him as he wanders into the New York Comic-Con. Once inside, Donny attempts to kidnap Ted, who flees and contacts John for help. John and Samantha arrive at Comic-Con and search for Ted, arriving as Donny is about to cut him open. As they make their escape, Donny cuts the cables holding up a model of the USS Enterprise and it swings towards Ted. John pushes Ted out of the way, takes the hit, and is knocked unconscious. Ted identifies Donny and he is arrested.
At the hospital, Samantha, Ted and Tami-Lynn rejoice when John recovers. Patrick Meighan decides to take the case, telling them he has been inspired by John's selflessness and Ted's emotions over his fallen friend. Meighan gets the ruling overturned by demonstrating that Ted is self-aware, that he feels complex emotions, and is capable of empathy. Outside the court, Ted re-proposes to Tami-Lynn. After they are re-married, Ted and Tami-Lynn, adopting the surname of "Clubberlang", adopt a baby boy, whom they name Apollo Creed, while John and Samantha happily pursue their own relationship.
During the 2012 American Dad! Comic-Con panel, MacFarlane stated that he would be open to a sequel to Ted. In September 2012, chief executive Steve Burke said that the studio would be looking to make a sequel to Ted "as soon as possible". In January 2013, on Anderson Live, Wahlberg confirmed that a sequel was in the works and that it would be the first sequel in his career, while also revealing that he and Ted (as voiced by MacFarlane) would appear at the 85th Academy Awards. On October 2, 2013, it was announced Ted 2 would be released on June 26, 2015.
Initially the storyline for the film was quite different and involved John and Ted's attempt to smuggle pot across the country, but, due to concerns that the concept was too similar to then recently released We're the Millers, the concept was scrapped and the storyline was overhauled to one inspired by John Jakes' North and South series as well as the life of Dred Scott. During the period when the film was about drug smuggling, Mila Kunis's character was still in the sequel; however, when the storyline was changed, it required a lawyer to be the female lead and there wasn't room for Kunis's character.
On February 14, 2014, Amanda Seyfried was cast as the female lead. On June 17, 2014, Jessica Barth was confirmed to reprise her role as Tami-Lynn. In August and September 2014, it was announced that Patrick Warburton would return as John's co-worker Guy, and that Morgan Freeman, Nana Visitor, Michael Dorn, Dennis Haysbert, Liam Neeson and John Slattery had joined the cast.
Principal photography began on July 28, 2014, and ended on November 13, 2014.
The film's soundtrack was released by Universal Republic on June 26, 2015. It features the score by Walter Murphy and songs co-written by Seth MacFarlane and Murphy, including "Mean Ol’ Moon", which is performed by Amanda Seyfried and Norah Jones separately. The soundtrack also includes "Mess Around" by Ray Charles, "One Foot in Front of the Other" by Bone Symphony and "New York" by Alfred Newman.Track listing
All tracks by Walter Murphy except where indicated.
On January 27, 2015, the film's teaser poster was released. This was followed two days later by its trailer. The film premiered on June 24, 2015, in New York City, with its general release two days later.
Ted 2 was released on DVD and Blu-ray on December 15, 2015 in the United States by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Both formats contained a theatrical version (115 minutes) and an "unrated" extended version (125 minutes), containing 10 minutes of extra footage. It was released on DVD and Blu-ray in the United Kingdom and Ireland on November 23, 2015, both formats containing the two versions.
On May 3, 2016, Ted vs. Flash Gordon: The Ultimate Collection was released on Blu-ray plus Digital HD, featuring Flash Gordon and the unrated versions of Ted and Ted 2.
Ted 2 grossed $81.5 million in North America and $135.2 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $216.7 million, against a budget of $68 million.
In the United States and Canada, Ted 2 opened on the same day as the family adventure film Max, across 3,441 theaters. It made $2.6 million from its Thursday night showings from 2,647 theaters, and $13.2 million on its opening day. In its opening weekend, Ted 2 earned $33.5 million, finishing third at the box office behind Jurassic World ($54.5 million) and Inside Out ($52.3 million). The opening total was a disappointment, considering the film's initial projected opening of $45–50 million, and its predecessor's $54.4 million opening three years prior. It was director MacFarlane's second consecutive underperforming opening, following 2014's A Million Ways to Die in the West, which opened to $16.8 million.
Outside North America, the film earned an estimated $20 million in its opening weekend from 26 countries. It opened in number two in Germany ($3.7 million), Russia and the CIS ($3.5 million) and Australia ($3.3 million).
On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 46% based on 189 reviews with an average rating of 5.3/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Ted 2 reunites Mark Wahlberg and Seth MacFarlane for another round of sophomoric, scatological humor -- and just as before, your enjoyment will depend on your tolerance for all of the above." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 48 out of 100 based on 38 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.
James Berardinelli of ReelViews gave the film two out of four stars, saying "It would be disingenuous for me to claim that Ted 2 isn't funny. Although I was often bored by the plodding direction of the story, I laughed from time-to-time." Chris Nashawaty of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a C+, saying "You realize what it must be like to be trapped in detention with a bunch of 15-year-old boys who think there's nothing more hilarious than repeating the same jokes about porn, pot, and pulling your pud over and over again. It's funny, until it's not." Bill Goodykoontz of The Arizona Republic gave the film two out of five stars, saying "The film, like most of MacFarlane's work, is a mix of occasional laugh-out-loud moments - there are some here - and cringe-worthy misfires that play a lot more tone-deaf than he seems to intend." Brian Truitt of USA Today gave the film two out of four stars, saying "MacFarlane and co-writers Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild have a gift for referential riffs, but the plot is the thinnest of narratives just to connect all the comedy bits." Stephen Whitty of the Newark Star-Ledger gave the film one and a half stars out of four, saying "Sure, MacFarlane can write simple jokes as long as the 'f' key on his laptop holds out. Some of them are even funny. But a lot of them don't pay off, and most trod the same well-worn territory -- potheads, practical jokes, politically-incorrect cliches." Lindsey Bahr of the Associated Press gave the film a negative review, saying "In an admirable effort to go a different route, MacFarlane has instead done something hopelessly bizarre: He's given his film too much sincerity and story, and it practically crushes whatever fun does exist."
Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle gave the film three out of four stars, saying "MacFarlane is cynical, but he's not a cynic, and there are moments in Ted 2 where you can sense a longing for the gentler and more upbeat entertainment of an earlier generation." Soren Anderson of The Seattle Times gave the film two out of four stars, saying "In the midst of comedy, seriousness. The combination feels forced. A more disciplined and smarter director might have been able to successfully blend the two elements, but crude dude MacFarlane hasn't the skill to bring it off." Dan Callahan of The Wrap gave the film a negative review, saying "Bad taste needs to be more honest and more all-inclusive if it's to make a lasting impression, and MacFarlane's bad taste here is both too wishy-washy and too knee-jerk cruel to really make any impact." Manohla Dargis of The New York Times gave the film a negative review, saying "Mr. MacFarlane can be funny, but Ted 2 is insultingly lazy hack work that is worth discussing primarily because of how he tries and fails to turn race, and specifically black men, into comedy fodder." Jacob Hall of New York Daily News gave the film one out of five stars, saying "Once again, you will believe that a talking CGI stuffed animal can be a racist, hateful monster with no redeeming qualities ... but his greatest sin is that he's not funny." Peter Howell of the Toronto Star gave the film two out of four stars, saying "If you didn't see and laugh at the first Ted, and maybe also at MacFarlane's button-pushing TV series Family Guy, then another movie deserves your entertainment dollars." A.A. Dowd of The A.V. Club gave the film a C+, saying "Ted 2 strikes a sometimes-awkward balance between sincerity and cheap provocation. It also forgets that the real draw of the first film wasn’t Ted himself, but Wahlberg, whose sweet-lug routine scored a lot of belly laughs."