Despicable Me Dominates the Weekend Box Office

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The ComingSoon.net Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films and then check back on Monday for the final figures based on actual box office.

Universal Pictures got a nice surprise this weekend as its new animated comedy Despicable Me surpassed all expectations by opening in first place with an estimated $60.1 million from 3,476 theaters, an average of $17,295. The movie is the first film from Chris Meledandri’s Illumination Entertainment and was directed by Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin. Despicable Me, made for about $69 million, features the voices of Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand, Will Arnett, Kristen Wiig, Danny McBride, Miranda Cosgrove, Jack McBrayer, Mindy Kaling, Jemaine Clement and Julie Andrews.

Summit’s The Twilight Saga: Eclipse held up much better than “New Moon” did its second weekend. The third installment dropped 48.5% in ticket sales (compared to “New Moon’s” 70%) adding $33.4 million in second place for a total of $237 million so far domestically. Internationally, “Eclipse” earned $81.1 million the last five days to bring its overseas total to $219 million and worldwide total to $456 million so far. The David Slade-directed film, starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner, cost $68 million to make.

Fox’s newcomer Predators, directed by Nimrod Antal and produced by Robert Rodriguez, opened in third place to $25.3 million from 2,669 theaters, averaging $9,479 per theater. The sci-fi action adventure only cost $40 million to produce.

Disney•Pixar’s Toy Story 3 continued to perform well its fourth weekend, dropping just 27.3% and adding $22 million in fourth for a total of $340.2 million. The hit sequel has passed up Pixar Animation’s Finding Nemo ($339.7 million) to become the company’s highest-grossing title ever domestically.

Paramount Pictures’ The Last Airbender suffered a 57.5% drop its second weekend with $17.2 million in the fifth spot. The M. Night Shyamalan adaptation has earned $100.2 million in two weeks compared to its budget of $150 million.

In sixth place, Sony comedy Grown Ups took in $16.4 million to push its three-week total to $111.3 million. It was made for about $80 million.

Also, Knight and Day added $7.9 million in seventh for a total of $61.9 million and The Karate Kid earned $5.7 million in eighth for a total of $164.6 million.

Click here for the full box office results of the top 12 films.

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