Animated sequel “Despicable Me 2″ is handily destroying Johnny Depp’s big budget action spectacle “The Lone Ranger” at the box office in a tale of two very different movies.
“Despicable,” the follow-up to 2010’s well-liked breakout hit featuring the voices of Steve Carell, Miranda Cosgrove and Kristen Wiig, is outperforming expectations taking in $30 million on Friday in the midst of what’s projected to be a $140 million five-day holiday weekend. That puts it ahead of the $82 million three-day opening for “Monsters University” and competitive with the $110 million three-day opening of “Toy Story 3.”
“Despicable” has a respectable 75% on Rotten Tomatoes and earned an A grade from audiences polled by CinemaScore.
Meanwhile, “Ranger” continues Depp’s troubling recent track record. The Gore Verbinski-directed film took in $10.6 million on Friday for a projected $50 million or lower five-day weekend.
It’s just the latest bad news for Depp. Last summer’s “Dark Shadows” was a disappointment, passion project “The Rum Diary” barely registered and 2010’s “The Tourist” was an epic flop. His last “Pirates” movie (2011’s “On Stranger Tides”) was the series’ lowest-grossing by far in the US. Aside from the modest success of the animated “Rango,” Depp’s last movie to over-deliver on expectations was 2010’s “Alice in Wonderland.”
“Ranger” scored a pitiful 24% on Rotten Tomatoes and a so-so B+ from CinemaScore audiences.
Playing on far less screens, Kevin Hart’s standup comedy concert “Let Me Explain” continues to shine. It brought in $3.7 million on Friday for a project five-day opening of over $17 million. “Explain” has already far surpassed Hart’s last successful concert release, “Laugh at My Pain,” which brought in $7.7 million total in 2011.
And opening in limited release on Friday, “Despicable” star Carell’s indie comedy “The Way, Way Back” earned $175,862 from 19 theaters for a strong $9,256 average.