“Despicable Me 2″ Beats Competition; Animation Rules American Theaters for 4 Straight Weeks

The audience pleasers Monsters University and Despicable Me 2 have now resulted in fully-animated features leading the U.S. box office for four straight weeks. Despicable Me 2 retained its number one slot this weekend while facing stiff competition from two newcomers—Grown Ups 2 and Pacific Rim. The modestly budgeted Illumination film grossed an estimated $44.8 million over the 3-day span, boosting its overall total to $229.2M.

To put this into perspective, the last time that fully-animated features led the U.S. box office for four weeks or longer was nearly twenty years ago, when Toy Story was the number one film for six straight weeks in 1995.

In its fourth weekend, Monsters University landed in sixth place, grossing $10.6M for a $237.8M domestic cume. International figures for these films coming soon.


  • George Comerci

    I’m so happy that animation is getting more popular these days. It’s so cool to see that this is the last time it happened since Toy Story! This film was amazing, I’m glad it’s getting the popularity it deserves.

  • paburrows

    I’m glad that animation is dominating, but I’m kind of wondering why Dispicable Me 2 since unlike the first one the story is kind of lazy. but I do have to admit that the minions are funny.

  • Floyd Norman

    Animation was hot back in the nineties and animation artists benefited by the upturn and finally got a taste of the big Hollywood bucks. All that has changed, and few animation people are getting rich these days. So animation is hot at the box office again. Guess who’s getting rich now? I guarantee you it’s not the animators.

    • michael swofford

      Back in the ’90s animators were enjoying a windfall produced by the lack of art education going back to the ’70s– we were a rare breed for whom the studios had to compete then, but our successes caused a lot of schools to start teaching art basics again. Consequently a whole big crop of well-trained artists has been raised to compete for jobs and the asking price has been driven down– and many of us driven out of the market.

    • James Fox

      the ’90s was also bad for animation
      examples
      - The vandilization of The Thief and the Cobbler
      - failure to market “Cats Don’t Dance”
      - Paramount’s sabotage on Bakshi’s “Cool World”
      - changing “Quest for Camelot” into a Disney cash in

      • SarahJesness

        Eh, every era is going to have failures.

        • jmahon

          exactly, think of how many fantastic game-changing animated movies that came out in the 90s.

          • Kevin Martinez

            The studios also expected that the animators would crank out a never-ending stream of Aladdins and Lion Kings. It didn’t take long for the multitude of non-Disney flops (and eventually, Disney flops) to completely undo all the gains animators made in the early 90′s.

            The CGI studios are the embodiment of “too big to fail”, so massive layoffs if a given animated film isn’t #1 at the box office for five months.

  • Chris Powell

    Im happy to see animation take the front page but at the same time it makes me worry that we’ll only see more formulaic animated comedies get greenlit and doors wont open for different types of genres in animation. Im not putting down the movies, I really enjoyed them both, and I definitely support Family friendly fare but I also really want to see different types of genres explored in the medium.

    Too Many U.S. Film goers think all animated films should be like Despicable Me

    • SarahJesness

      I would have to agree. But maybe if we’re lucky, movies like this can show that there is an older audience for animation. After all, the older audience is the real reason Despicable Me was so successful. And catering to older audiences can mean more variety in genre. I want some kick-ass fantasy adventure, personally.

      But maybe I’m just being too optimistic.

  • http://samfilstrup.tumblr.com/ Sam

    I’m always flabbergasted when I remember how long its been since the first Toy Story, I was still in elementary school.

    • http://the-animatorium.blogspot.com/ Natalie Belton

      I was only 3! Toy Story and Pocahontas were the first films I remember seeing in the theater.

      • http://samfilstrup.tumblr.com/ Sam

        While not the first film I remember its still a pretty vivid memory for me. I think Beauty and the Beast is the farthest back I can recall going to see.

  • jhalpernkitcat

    Oh thank goodness, I was afraid “Grownups 2″ had made it to the number one this weekend.

    Although I must admit, Pacific Rim was quite awesome.

  • George

    Horray. More sequels and Minions spinoffs. At least people get to keep their jobs, right?

  • wi tu lo

    Monsters U is too a good movie. There was lots of work to make it good.

  • Kris Kail

    I haven’t seen either. Did either one end with a giant dance scene involving the entire cast? If not then we have one or two monumental achievements in animation.

  • Michael Fox

    Great to see animated films sticking up on the top of the list although I am surprised Pacific Rim did not do as well as you’d think it would. But Grown-Ups 2 did not reach #1 so that’s okay.

  • brandon

    Pacific Rim: $180 million

    The Lone Ranger: $225 million

    Research. Only takes a minute or two of your time :)