Universal and Illumination's 3D animated feature is eyeing a five-day debut in the $120 million range; Disney's big-budget Western may only earn $50 million to $60 million.
Universal and Illumination Entertainment’s Despicable Me 2 is already proving to be the box office hit everyone thought it would, while Disney's The Lone Ranger may fail to ignite any fireworks during the extended Fourth of July weekend, according to a report by The Hollywood Reporter.
According to early Wednesday returns, Despicable 2 will gross $30 million-plus on Wednesday, putting the 3D animated sequel on course for a possible five-day debut in the $120 million range, marking another major win for Illumination’s animation efforts.
Lone Ranger – which sees director Gore Verbinski and star Johnny Depp reunited with Pirates of the Caribbean producer Jerry Bruckheimer – may only reach half that. The film is reportedly pacing to gross $11 million to $12 million on Wednesday for a five-day opening in the $50 million to $60 million range. Given the film’s budget, rumored to be at least $250 million, this means the film will have to do especially big business overseas.
Despicable 2, which cost a modest $76 million to produce, is something of a sure bet, making its debut three years after the first film took the box office by storm. The films are the creation of Universal-backed animation venture Illumination Entertainment, led by Chris Meledandri.
Overseas, Despicable 2 has already earned an outstanding $48 million from only seven territories, including six where it opened over the weekend after initially rolling out in Australia the prior weekend.
In the animated feature, Steve Carell returns to voice the role of Gru, master of the minions, while Kristen Wiig voices the role of Agent Lucy Wilde.
Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.