America loves its minions. The kooky characters were the centerpiece of the marketing campaign for Universal Pictures' "Despicable Me 2" and guess what? Moviegoers can't get enough of them. The sequel to the 2011 blockbuster earned a massive $34.3 million against strong competition on Wednesday and could gross anywhere from $120-130 million over the five-day holiday weekend.
Having a less spectacular debut was Gore Verbinski's "The Lone Ranger." The latest incarnation of the classic Western hero debuted to just $9.6 million. Unless there is a major turnaround in ticket sales "Ranger" is looking at only $40-48 million for the holiday frame. That's substantially below pre-release tracking which at one point - before the reviews started coming in - had "Ranger" in the $60-70 million range. You may remember that the movie almost didn't happen. Disney battled with producer Jerry Bruckheimer, Verbinski and star Johnny Depp over the budget before finally giving the project a greenlight. "Ranger" still ended up costing a reported $215 million and throw in an $80 million marketing campaign and the Mouse House has its first serious loss leader of the year.
Luckily, Disney can still smile about the fantastic results for "Monsters University." The Pixar sequel pulled in another $5.4 million Wednesday for a superb $191.3 million in less than two weeks. "Despicable Me 2" has stolen a good chunk of its family audience, but "MU" should still top out in the $240-250 million range.
Dropping to fourth is Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy's "The Heat." The Paul Feig comedy barely lost third place to "MU" with $5.2 million and $55 million in just six days. "The Heat" should easily surpass the $100 million mark later this month.
"World War Z" took the fifth slot with another $3.9 million and $136 million to date. At this point, the Brad Pitt action flick should top off around $170-180 million when all is said and done.
Look for complete box office updates throughout the holiday weekend on HitFix.
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
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