‘Lone Ranger’ Flops, ‘Despicable Me 2’ Sets Animation Record

3D Sequel Beats 'Toy Story 3' for Highest 5-Day Debut Ever for an Animated FIlm

July 8, 2013 by

Move over, White House Down, because there’s only room for one big-budget bomb in this town. Disney’s The Lone Ranger, an inexplicable western revival from the original Pirates of the Caribbean team, flopped at the domestic box office over the extended July 4th holiday weekend. In its first five days, the $250 million production only mustered $48.7 million, bringing to memory another epic bomb that also cost the Mouse House a quarter billion, last year’s John Carter. However, unlike The Lone Ranger, that sci-fi flop didn’t have the help of an A-lister in Johnny Depp, and it wasn’t released during the much more profitable summer season, much less one of the biggest holiday weekends on the year.

Looking at only the traditional three-day totals from Friday to Sunday, The Lone Ranger‘s runner-up finish was only a few million ahead of chick cop couple comedy The Heat (in its sophomore weekend), which itself was a few million ahead of two-time reigning champ Monsters University. The Pixar prequel had no chance to become the first movie of 2013 to three-peat at the domestic box office, especially because it was up against the debut of another 3D animated family-friendly flick that ultimately coasted to a very easy, and historic, victory.

That movie was Illumination Entertainment’s Despicable Me 2, whose opening five-day total of $143.1 million is a new record for an animated movie and (in another slap to Disney’s face) just barely ahead of the previous record of $141 million held by Toy Story 3. Its opening day gross was the third-highest ever for an animated film (behind Toy Story 3 and Shrek the Third), its Thursday gross the next day was the second-highest ever (behind Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen), and its traditional three-day weekend take was the highest ever for an animated movie released in July.

Rounding out the top five was Brad Pitt’s World War Z, one of our most anticipated movies of the year. In its third weekend, the zombie apocalypse thriller trailed Monsters University by only less than a couple million as it crossed the $150 million mark.

Next weekend, two major releases hope to take down Gru and his minions. The first is Guillermo Del Toro’s mechs-vs.-monsters mash Pacific Rim, another one of our most anticipated films, and Adam Sandler’s comedy ensemble sequel Grown Ups 2.

Here are the numbers for the top five over the traditional three-day weekend via BOM:

  1. Despicable Me 2 — Weekend Gross: $83.5 million — Total Gross: $143.1 million (new)
  2. The Lone Ranger — Weekend Gross: $29.2 million — Total Gross: $48.7 million (new)
  3. The Heat — Weekend Gross: $24.8 million — Total Gross: $86.3 million (#2 last week)
  4. Monsters University — Weekend Gross: $19.7 million — Total Gross: $216.3 million (#1 last week)
  5. World War Z — Weekend Gross: $18.4 million — Total Gross: $159.0 million (#3 last week)

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