For the third week in a row, an animated film has taken the crown at the U.S. box office. This week, the winner is Illumination Entertainment and Universal’s Despicable Me 2. The Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud-directed film scored $83.5 million over the weekend, and since its debut last Wednesday has earned a massive $143.1 million. The film’s three-day opening was nearly identical to the opening of Disney/Pixar’s Monsters University, however, Despicable Me cost a reported $76 million to produce, whereas the Pixar film cost closer to $200 million. Overseas weekend gross on Despicable Me 2 was $88.8 million. Box Office Mojo reports that the film has already made over $150 million overseas, and Deadline Hollywood says the film opened in first place in 35 of its 38 new markets and set the following records:
Territory highlights/records: biggest opening ever for an animated film in Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa, Trinidad and Vietnam; highest opening day ever for all films in South Africa; Universal’s biggest opening day ever in Brazil, Hungary, Mexico and South Africa; third biggest opening day ever in Mexico just behind Iron Man 3 and The Avengers.
The biggest story here is that Despicable Me 2 is performing as well as any Pixar/DreamWorks CG tentpole on a fraction of the budget. The other studios throw money at their films, but the producers of Despicable Me 2 focused on delivering the best entertainment bang for the buck.
With the new competition in the kiddie film market, Monsters University took an expected hit in its third weekend, dropping 56.8% for a take of $19.7M. The film, which landed in fourth place, has grossed a solid $216.3 in the United States. Combine that with $184.4M overseas, and it has now crossed the $400M mark worldwide.