There was good news and bad news at the weekend box office as “Despicable Me 2” led the charge to a new holiday record, but “The Lone Ranger” stumbled badly and looks like one of the biggest bombs of 2013.
Easily finishing first for the frame, “Despicable” brought in an estimated $82.5 million for the three day weekend and a total $142 million since its Wednesday opening. Made on a reported budget of $76 million, the animated sequel shouldn’t have much trouble topping its predecessor’s total gross of $251.5 million and looks to overtake “Monsters University” as the top grossing animated movie of the year.
“Despicable” can also take pride in accounting for a huge chunk of the $220 million three-day weekend box office — a new record for a Fourth of July holiday weekend.
Coming in second but causing a lot of noise with its disappointing performance, “Ranger” nabbed $29.4 million for the three day weekend and just $48.9 million since its Wednesday opening. On a reported budget of anywhere between $215-250 million, “Ranger” joins “White House Down” and “After Earth” as one of the highest profile bombs of the year. It’s just the latest bad news at the box office for Johnny Depp.
Opening in only 876 theaters, “Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain” debuted to a strong $10.1 million weekend (good for eighth place) and $17.5 million total since Wednesday. The low budget standup comedy concert movie had an opening to rival 2000’s standup landmark “The Original Kings of Comedy,” and even if it doesn’t share that film’s staying power, the performance proves Hart’s drawing power.
A trio of hits rounded out the top five. Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy’s buddy comedy “The Heat” placed third with $25 million for the weekend and a new gross of $86.4 million. “Monsters University” took a hit from the “Despicable” competition but earned $19.6 million for fourth place and a new $216.1 total. “World War Z” took in $18.2 million for a new gross of $158.8 million.
Outside of the top 10, indie comedy “The Way, Way Back” had a very strong opening in limited release. The coming of age story with an ensemble cast including Steve Carell and Sam Rockwell made $575,000 over the weekend for an impressive per theater gross of $30,263. That bodes well for an expanded release in the coming weeks.