'Despicable Me' Crushes 'Lone Ranger' in Opening


'Despicable Me' Crushes 'Lone Ranger' in Opening

There was nothing despicable to speak of for Universal's animated sequel Despicable Me 2, which topped the holiday weekend box office in its opening weekend, stealing the spotlight from The Lone Ranger's release.

The animated film, starring Steve Carell as the voice of the protagonist, "Gru," reeled in an estimated $82.5 million domestic over the three-day weekend to increase its Week 1 total to $142.1 million.

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Disney's anticipated action-western The Lone Ranger plainly did not have the same reception at theaters. While the Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer film secured a No. 2 spot, it paled in comparison to not only Despicable Me but also to its lofty expectations.

The $215-million-bugeted film lassoed in $29.4 million domestic over the three-day weekend to finish its first week of release with $48.9 million, nearly $100 million less than Despicable Me.

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Finishing in third was The Heat, starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy, which reaped $25 million over the three-day weekend to increase its domestic gross total to $86.3 million after two weekends.

Below The Heat was another animated film sizzling with moviegoers, Monsters University ($216.1 million), which easily crossed the $200-million domestic mark with a $19.5-million stack over the weekend.

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The film's international success has run parallel to its domestic success, and the Billy Crystal, John Goodman-voiced sequel has now gathered $400.5 million worldwide.

Other box-office heavyweights continued to add to their hefty totals as well.

World War Z
(5th: $18.2 million, $158.7 million) has now pulled in $366.1 million worldwide and Man of Steel (7th: $11.4 million, $271.2 million) is soaring with $586.8 million worldwide.

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On the other end of the spectrum, White House Down ($13.5 million, $50.4 million) continued to post paltry numbers in its second weekend of release, raising concerns as to whether it will surpass its $150-million budget.