Box office roundup – "Despicable Me 2" takes top spot, "Lone Ranger" settles for silver

Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment The Minions party.
Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment
The Minions party.

1. Despicable Me 2 – $82.5 million [opened Wednesday; $140 million] The Fourth of July marked a great holiday weekend for Gru and The Minions who had the year’s second best animated opening behind “Monsters University‘s” $84 million debut last month.

“Despicable Me” opened to a surprising $56 million in 2010 and the sequel has already made back its $76 million budget so this looks poised to easily become one of the year’s biggest hits as well as surpassing the original’s $251 million domestic take. With a Minions spin-off set for next December, things are looking great for Universal Pictures’ new franchise.

THE LONE RANGER2. The Lone Ranger – $29.4 million [opened Wednesday; $48.9 million] Johnny Depp couldn’t ride off in the sunset with his latest action/adventure, which is looking like it’s going to be a big disappointment for Walt Disney Studios.

Since the first “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” in 2003, Depp has been one of the more reliable blockbuster film actors, but he’s seen his star power fade some lately with the weak performances of his last two films “The Rum Diary” ($13 million) in 2011 and “Dark Shadows” ($79 million) and 2012. His most recent big-budget film was “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tide,” which opened in 2011 to $90 million and finished with $243 million. It may be that audiences are finally starting to show some weariness to Depp’s wacky characters?

Regardless, the film reuniting Depp and his “Pirates” director Gore Verbinski isn’t gonna make up its $225 million budget.

the-heat-DF-01882_01861_RV2_rgb3. The Heat – $25 million [2nd week; $86 million] Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy ‘s buddy comedy didn’t wither in the face of the competition and held up pretty well. It already earned back its $43 million budget last weekend so now it’s just a question if this will be the highest grossing hit for its two leads.

Walt Disney Pictures Mike Wazowski has arrived—and Monsters University will never be the same.
Walt Disney Pictures
Mike Wazowski has arrived—and Monsters University will never be the same.

4. Monsters University – $19.6 million [3rd week; $224 million] Disney/Pixar’s animated film’s success should help soften the blow somewhat for “The Lone Ranger’s” disappointing performance for Disney as it closes in on $350 million worldwide.

I’m wondering now if Disney/Pixar thinks there’s enough of a story to tell to revisit Mike, Sulley and company for a third installment?

Jaap Buitendijk/Paramount Pictures Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt), W.H.O. Doctor (Pierfrancesco Favino) and Segen (Daniella Kertesz).
Jaap Buitendijk/Paramount Pictures
Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt), W.H.O. Doctor (Pierfrancesco Favino) and Segen (Daniella Kertesz).

5. World War Z – $18.2 million [3rd week; $166 million] Brad Pitt’s zombie flick is one of the summer’s most unlikely success stories despite the film’s production woes and now has reached a worldwide gross of over $300 million.

  • I expected a monstrous opening for “Despicable Me 2”, but these numbers even exceed what I was expecting from it. What most impresses me about it’s opening is it was still able to take in a million more than “Monsters University” this weekend and it opened on a Wednesday. I think the battle for the number 2 spot at the box office this summer is going to come down to “Despicable Me 2” & “Man Of Steel”. I think “Monsters” might have lost too much gas this weekend to reach the no. 2 spot and will be no. 4 among the summer’s biggest grossers. I believe if “Despicable Me 2” shows strong legs over the next few weeks at the box office it could overtake “MOS” for the number 2 spot.

  • I think it’s going to be a tight race, but “Turbo’s” arrival may slow DM2 down just like it did for “Monsters University.”

  • I hear you, but “Turbo” is not at what I would consider the level of “Monsters U” & “Despicable Me 2”, but yeah I could cut into it’s profits some and i’m sure “Smurfs 2” will cut into “Turbo’s” profits as well. “Pacific Rim” looks like it might be a pretty good film, i’m planning on seeing soon. I really hope it succeeds at the box office and becomes a big hit. Another film i’m really looking forward to seeing is “Fruitvale Station”, the film about Oscar Grant, it really hits close to home for me since it took place in my city and the effect it had on so many of us.

  • “Turbo” doesn’t look that great, but parents have been waiting for movies to take the kids to and the more options the better so each release is getting closer to the last one and cutting into the profits.

    I finished my “Pacific Rim” review last night. Interested in your opinion on it. I’m hoping to check out “FS” soon too!

  • Oh i’m sure “Turbo” will make money at the box office, what animated film doesn’t these days. I probably won’t get to check “Pacific Rim” out until next week unfortunately, but the gloom on his box office prospects seem to be evaporating quickly. Just a few days ago they predicting a 25-30 million opening weekend for it, now those projections have risen to the 40 million mark and possibly more. To me it’s stong late momentum seems very similar to “World War Z” a few weeks ago, they we’re saying basically the same thing about that film before anticipation took a huge leap in it’s opening and it absolutely exploded. PM is by far the leader in Fandango sales, I think strong reviews is really helping this film. As you and I both know many people will wait to see reviews on a film before they decide if they want to see it or not. I think it reaches 40 million at a minimum this weekend, and if audiences really take to it 50-60 million may not be out of reach.