It's looking like the Minions will be leaving Johnny Depp in the dust at the box office over the long Fourth of July weekend. 

Universal's animated sequel "Despicable Me 2" breezed past the pricey "Lone Ranger" on Tuesday night, as both films opened in anticipation of the holiday. 

The 3D 'toon, starring the voice of Steve Carell, took in a hefty $4.7 million, while the Western redo, co-starring Depp and Armie Hammer, picked up a disappointing $2 million.

"Despicable Me 2" is tracking to likely earn somewhere north of $100 million by Sunday, while "Ranger" will likely pick up a more modest $65 - $70 million or so. 

It's worth noting that "Despicable' reportedly cost around $75 million, while the problem-plagued "Lone Ranger" is rumored to have a production budget of about $250 million. 

"Ranger" reunites Depp with his "Pirates of the Caribbean" director Gore Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer.

The stand-up comedy concert film "Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain" is also opening over the long weekend, making its debut on some 800 theaters.

The new films will also get some competition from such successful holdovers as "The Heat" and "Monsters University."
 
Read Drew McWeeny's review of "The Lone Ranger," and his review of "Despicable Me 2."