Box Office Results: Despicable Me 2’s Minions Rule the World

The 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.

4th of July weekend was all about Steve Carell’s Gru and his Minions as Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment’s animated sequel Despicable Me 2 quickly became one of the summer’s biggest hits, amassing an estimated $142 million in its first five days, playing in 3,997 theaters in North America.

It opened on Wednesday with $34.3 million, dipped a bit on the 4th of July (which is normal for family films), then spiked back up to $30.5 million on Friday. Universal has estimated its three-day weekend at $82.5 million, making it the third-biggest Independence Day opening after Transformers: Dark of the Moon ($97.8 million) and Spider-Man 2 ($88.1 million). As far as its other box office benchmarks, Despicable Me 2 made more in its first five days then both Toy Story 3 and Shrek the Third, setting it up as one of the most successful animated movies released to date, as well as one of Universal’s biggest hits in their 75+ year history.

The movie had already opened internationally over the past few weeks and this weekend it was the #1 movie in 42 of its 46 markets including North America. This weekend, it added another $88.8 million internationally to bring its total overseas to $151 million and its total worldwide gross to $293.2 million.

Things weren’t as rosy for Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer in The Lone Ranger (Walt Disney Pictures), reuniting the former with director Gore Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies. Their attempt to revive the Western hero in the same fashion as they did pirates with Captain Jack Sparrow failed to find much of an audience. It opened on Wednesday with less than $10 million and held steady through the 4th of July Thursday, but things didn’t pick up much for the weekend and the film’s 3-day weekend estimate of $29.4 million is on par with last summer’s bomb Dark Shadows starring Depp and directed by his other long-time collaborator Tim Burton. The Lone Ranger ended up grossing just under $50 million in its first five days, which is $20 million less than Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl made in its first five days ten years ago.

The Lone Ranger also opened internationally in 23 other territories including Russia, Australia, Italy and Korea, where it grossed an estimated $24.3 million to bring its global total to $73.2 million. So far, it’s only playing in 30% of the international market, so we’ll have to see whether Depp’s popularity in other countries will help the movie that reportedly was budgeted at $200 million.

While that venture didn’t prove fruitful, Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy’s hit action-comedy The Heat (20th Century Fox) continued to do very well, taking third place with $25 million, a negligible 36% drop from its opening weekend. In just ten days, the police comedy has already brought in $86.4 million domestically which means it should cross the $100 million mark sometime this week, making it McCarthy’s second movie of the year to do so.

With the introduction of Despicable Me 2 into the family market, Disney•Pixar’s animated prequel Monsters University took a plunge down to fourth place for the weekend, adding another $19.5 million to take its domestic gross over $200 million, the sixth movie of 2013 to reach that benchmark. It has grossed $216 domestically since opening three weeks ago and this weekend it added another $29.5 internationally in 32 markets, pushing it over the $400 million mark globally.

Brad Pitt’s World War Z (Paramount Pictures) came in fifth place with $18.2 million, down just 39% from last weekend, bringing its own total to $158.8 million in the same amount of time as Monsters University.

Roland Emmerich’s action-thriller White House Down, starring Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx, dropped to sixth place with $13.5 million with a total gross of $50.5 million, helped on the 4th of July by a promotion that allowed active duty military men and vets to see the movie for free.

Meanwhile, Zack Snyder’s Superman movie Man of Steel (Warner Bros.) took seventh place with $11.4 million, still the second-highest grossing movie of the year with $271.2 million, but it probably will end up third behind the Minions’ latest movie.

Comedy concert films are few and far between which may be why Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain (Summit) opened so well on Wednesday with $4.8 million in just 876 theaters. It added another $2.6 million on the 4th of July and then took in an estimated $10.1 million over the three-day weekend to take eighth place, having amassed $17.5 million in its first five days.

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s This is the End (Sony) took ninth place with $5.8 million, another great hold from the previous weekend, as it slowly makes its way to $100 million with $85.5 million grossed so far.

Opening in limited release in 19 theaters on Friday was the directorial debut by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, the Oscar-winning co-screenwriters of Alexander Payne’s The Descendants. Starring Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, Sam Rockwell and newcomer Liam James, the Sundance comedy pick-up The Way, Way Back (Fox Searchlight) earned $575 thousand over the three-day weekend, an average of roughly $30,000 per theater.

(Please note that at no time during this box office report did we use the term “fireworks” to describe the box office even though it was 4th of July. You’re welcome.)

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


Marvel and DC