Despicable Me 2, which debuted in the United States on Wednesday with a mammoth $34.3 million, is headed into what is guaranteed to be a huge opening weekend. The film is the fourth effort from Illumination Entertainment, the studio run by Chris Meledandri, who is the former 20th Century Fox Animation president responsible for films like Ice Age and Horton Hears a Who!.
Critical reaction to Despicable Me 2, directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud, has been decent though not spectacular, which is quite similar to another recent animated follow-up, Pixar’s Monsters University. The critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes stands at 75% with an audience rating of 89%. Variety labeled the film an “endearing if slightly less inspired sequel,” while the NY Times stated that it was “consistently diverting and so cute you’ll want to pet it” while cautioning that “it is also weightless and lacks a center.” The note sounded by most critics is that it’s ultimately a likeable film, as summed up by the Village Voice: “It’s breezy and affable without ever going completely soft.”