'Despicable Me 2' Holds On to Top Spot in Tight 3-Way Race

Despicable Me 2 | Grown Ups 2 | Pacific Rim
From left: Despicable Me 2, Grown Ups 2, Pacific Rim. (From Illumination | Sony | Warner Bros.)Adam Sandler has another hit movie on his hands, Despicable Me 2 is number one for a second week in a row, and Pacific Rim opens in third, but that might not be as bad as it sounds. It was a complicated weekend at the box office, with Kevin Hart's stand-up continuing to overperform, and The Lone Ranger showing all the signs of being a loss-leader for Disney.

First, Adam Sandler and his gang of buddies-turned-costars threw a party and everyone came — again. Grown Ups 2, with its improbably long list of Hollywood bit players all thrown into one movie, brought in $42.5 million over the weekend. That's $2 million more than the first movie made in its opening weekend, and that comedy was a sleeper hit in 2010, eventually grossing $162 million domestically. 

Then there's Despicable Me 2, with its PG rating pointing to the blend of kid-targeted-yet-adult-friendly comedy that's made it the top draw at theaters two weekends in a row, bringing in nearly $48 million since Friday. In less than two weeks it's made $229 million, on track to far surpass its predecessor, which topped out at $251.5 Million domestically.

More interesting is the reaction to Pacific Rim. Despite mostly positive reviews, an A- cinemascore, and excellent word of mouth on Twitter, Guillermo del Toro's giant monster movie came in third with $38.3 million. Warner Bros. is already planning to use that word of mouth as a key part of its advertising for the movie in the next week, so maybe all those good things people had to say about it will pay off — just a little slower than with most $190 million tentpole summer action movies. Pacific Rim is also performing well overseas, bringing in an extra $53 million internationally. With its heavy and clear Japanese influences, this was always a movie that seemed made for Asian markets more than North American ones, where the premise is generally seen as outright silly. If the movie does end up paying off, it will mean big things for Legendary. The studio is set to leave its partnership with Warner Bros., and taking a brand new intellectual property with them could mean big money in sequels.

Kevin Hart's new stand-up comedy movie, Let Me Explain, showed up in the top 10 for a second week in a row with $5 million. It's now the fourth-highest grossing stand-up film ever, with $26.4 million, placing it just between Martin Lawrence Live: Runteldat ($19.2 million), and Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip ($36.3 million). The top-grossing stand-up movie ever is 1987's Eddie Murphy: Raw, which took in $50.5 million, and that's before being adjusted for inflation. 

Melissa McCarthy is officially a bankable star. The Heat crossed the $100 million mark, and is on track to finished somewhere in the same total as Identity Thief, which did $134.5 million in ticket sales. That means she's starred in two movies that have done more than $100 million since breaking out in Bridesmaids in 2011.

Johnny Depp might not be so bankable after Disney finishes calculating the hit it's going to take on the mega-budgeted The Lone Ranger. Last week Wall Street analysts estimated the studio will eat between $150 and $200 million on the movie, which fell steeply in its second week in theaters, bringing in $11.1 million.

Another big loser is White House Down, which is clinging to a spot in the top 10 with $6.1 million, bringing its domestic total to $63 million, despite two big name stars, proven winner Roland Emmerich in the director's seat, and an estimated $150 million to work with.

Lastly, this weekend was marked by the "Not Guilty" verdict in the George Zimmerman trial in Florida, which must have been on some people's minds as they went to see Fruitvale Station, the movie about the shooting of Oscar Grant. The movie brought in $377,285 in just seven theaters for a per-location average of $53,898. Starring The Wire's Michael B. Jordan as Grant, and Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer as his mother, it's a movie that deserves to find a wide audience.

Here's the top 10 breakdown:

Movie Weekend Total
1. Despicable Me 2
$44.8M $229.2M
2. Grown Ups 2
$42.5M $42.5M
3. Pacific Rim
$38.3M $38.3M
4. The Heat
$14M $112.4M
5. The Lone Ranger $11.1M $71.1M
6. Monsters University
$10.6M $237.8M
7. World War Z
$9.4M $177.1M
8. White House Down $6.2M $63M
9. Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain $5M $26.4M
10. Man of Steel $4.8M $281M
I write about movies for Zimbio.com, which means I spend way too much time thinking about the geekiest possible ways to approach the cineplex. I'm also hopelessly addicted to audio books. Follow me: Google
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