Universal and Illumination Entertainment's Despicable Me 2 dazzled audiences over the long holiday weekend, fueling one of the best July Fourth holiday stretches on record in terms of overall box-office revenue, and posting a five-day debut of $142.1 million -- one of the best showings of all time for an animated film and just ahead of what Toy Story 3 earned in its first five days.
Overseas, Despicable 2 grossed $88.8 million from 45 markets over the weekend for an early international total of $151.1 million and worldwide total of $293.2 million. The 3D animated sequel came in first place in 42 of the 45 countries.
In North America, the animated sequel scored the second-highest Thursday gross in history behind Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen ($29.1 million). On Wednesday ‘toon scored the third-highest opening day for an animated feature behind Toy Story 3 and Shrek the Third, both of which opened on a Friday.
Failing to fire off a silver bullet at the box office, Disney's The Lone Ranger posted a grim five-day debut of $48.9 million, far from enough to make up for the $250 million price tag of the Johnny Depp-Armie Hammer Western. Despite Depp's popularity at the international box office, Lone Ranger turned in a soft performance as it began rolling out overseas, grossing $29.4 million from 24 markets for a worldwide opening total of $78.3 million.
Coming in third at the North American box office after Despicable 2 and Lone Ranger was 20th Century Fox's The Heat, starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. The R-rated comedy held well in its second weekend, taking in $25 million for a domestic total of $86.4 million.
Disney and Pixar's Monsters University, directed by Dan Scanlon, came in fourth over its third weekend out, taking in $19.6 million. The animated prequel has so far grossed $216.3 million, making it the 11th Pixar movie to pass $200 million.
Paramount’s zombie feature World War Z, produced by Brad Pitt and directed by Marc Forster, brought in $18.4 million for a domestic total of $159 million.
Director Roland Emmerich's White House Down fell to sixth place in its second weekend at the box office, bringing in $11.2 million for a domestic total of $50.1 million.
In its fourth weekend at the box office, Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures’ Man of Steel came in seventh, earning $11.4 million for a total of $271.2 million.
Standup comedy feature Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain, from Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment, came in eighth place, earning $17.4 million to become the fifth-highest-grossing stand-up comedy movie ever.
Sony's end-of-the-world comedy This Is the End came in ninth, grossing $5.9 million in its fourth weekend out for a North American total of $85.7 million.
Rounding out the list at number 10, Summit Entertainment’s Now You See Me made $2.9 million for a total of $110.5 million.
Box office numbers were obtained on boxofficemojo.com.