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'Despicable Me 2' dominates Fourth of July weekend box office

By DANIELLE HAYNES, UPI.com   |   July 7, 2013 at 5:07 PM   |   Comments

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July 7 (UPI) -- "Despicable Me 2" dominated the box office this weekend, with an expected gross of more than $82.5 million and $142.1 million over the five-day Fourth of July holiday period.

"The Lone Ranger," starring Johnny Depp, came in second at the box office with a disappointing estimated $29.4 million in ticket sales. The film cost more than $225 million to make, Fox News reported.

"We thought it would appeal to a broader audience than it did," Dave Hollis, head of distribution for Disney, said of "The Lone Ranger."

Universal made "Despicable Me 2," starring the voice of Steve Carell, for a comparatively smaller amount of $76 million. The unexpected haul over the weekend firmly establishes the films, in which Carell is a former villain turned single dad, as a solid franchise for Universal and Illumination Entertainment.

The minions, the little yellow workers who work for Carell's Gru, are getting their own spinoff in 2014, said Nikki Rocco, head of distribution for Universal.

"The minions steal everybody's heart," Rocco said. "It's a great time of the year to release a family film with broad appeal."

Rounding out the top ten estimated ticket sales at the box office this weakend were "The Heat" with $25 million, "Monsters University" with $19.6 million, "World War Z" with $18.2 million, "White House Down" with $13.5 million, "Man of Steel" with $11.4 million, "Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain" with $10.1 million, "This is the End" with $5.8 million and "Now You See Me" with $2.8 million.

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