B.O. Roundup, July 5-7: 'Despicable Me 2' Triumphs, 'Lone Ranger' Does Not

Sunday, 07 July 2013 10:28 Written by  Jordan DeSaulnier
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B.O. Roundup, July 5-7: 'Despicable Me 2' Triumphs, 'Lone Ranger' Does Not

At multiplexes all over the nation over this Fourth of July holiday, Despicable Me 2 stood triumphant over The Lone Ranger.

Obviously, this isn't quite a normal weekend, since the holiday fell on Thursday, but in the name of consistency we're going to stick with the Friday through Monday format for the most part.

Back on topic.  Going in to the weekend, the expectation was that the follow-up to 2010's Despicable Me would handily win the frame with Disney's costly western bringing in far less than its budget would suggest.  That's just how things panned out.

The animated 3D sequel earned an estimated $82.5 million over the weekend proper and a whopping $142.0 million total since its debut earlier in the week.  So Despicable Me 2 has exceeded the $56.3 million debut of the original film, which also follows a supervillain by the name of Gru, along with adopted moppet children and host of adorable little Minions.  The sequel is track to way surpass the first movie's $251.5 million domestic gross.  The gravy on these mashed potatoes is that Despicable Me 2 is relatively cheap for a big animated movie, costing $75 million.

The film, co-directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud, also opened at number one in 36 of 38 foreign markets, putting its global total so far at $293.1 million.  All of this bodes well for Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment's spin-off Minions feature, particularly since the yellow creatures were central to the sequel's marketing effort.

And then there's The Lone Ranger, a movie that had many a public dust-up over its massive budget.  The reunion between Pirates of the Caribbean star Johnny Depp, director Gore Verbinski, and producer Jerry Bruckheimer won't repeat that 2003 feature's unlikely success.  Over the weekend proper, this resurrection of an eighty-year old serialized radio hero earned an estimated $29.4 million, bringing its domestic total since Wednesday to $48.9 million.  For a would-be blockbuster with a production cost between $225 and $250 million, that's no great shakes, to say the very least.

The film, which stars Armie Hammer in the title role, was critically eviscerated at home and earned $24.3 million in foreign markets.  While costly event movies that fail to connect here often make up the difference abroad, The Lone Ranger is unlikely to make that happen simply by virtue of being a western, a genre that hasn't connected abroad over the last few decades.  Still, perhaps the lure of Depp as Tonto will prove stronger than that aversion to westerns.

The stand-up comedy feature Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain, meanwhile, debuted in eighth place with $11.4 million over the weekend and $17.4 million over the holiday.  The Way, Way Back, am independent comedy-drama from Jim Rash and Nat Faxon, opened in 13th place, collecting an estimated $575,000 from just nineteen locations.  That's a robust per-screen average for Rash and Faxon's directorial debut.

Here are the top ten movies in America for the weekend of July 5th through 7th:

1. Despicable Me 2                                         $82.5 million               $142.0 million

2. The Lone Ranger                                        $29.4 million              $48.9 million

3. The Heat                                                     $25.0 million              $86.3 million

4. Monsters University                                  $19.5 million              $216.1 million

5. World War Z                                               $18.2 million              $158.7 million

6. White House Down                                    $13.5 million              $50.4 million

7. Man of Steel                                               $11.4 million              $271.2 million

8. Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain                       $10.1 million              $17.4 million

9. This Is the End                                           $5.8 million               $85.5 million

10. Now You See Me                                      $2.7 million               $110.4 million

The coming Friday sees both Guillermo del Toro's monster mash Pacific Rim and Adam Sandler's sequel Grown Ups 2 joining the fray in wide release.


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