Despicable Me managed to stomp every prediction regarding its opening by over-performing beyond expectations and reaching $56.3 million when it wasn’t expected to pass $40 million. Surprises like this make things interesting at the box office.
For a movie that cost $69 million and coming from newborn animation studio Illumination Entertainment (I have a feeling we will continue to see good things coming from them in the future under Universal’s distribution deal), this is a pretty darn good score, so good that it passed previous highest grossing computer animated flick distributed by Universal Pictures, The Tale of Despereaux (with $50.8 million) in just 3 days. With Toy Story 3 still making the rounds and holding a lot of the 3D screens, makes this performance all the more impressive. So, Despicable Me 2 (bad title, I really hope it won’t be this) coming out in 2013?
Also strong was The Twilight Saga: Eclipse with $31.7 million (that I totally called) down only 51.1% from last weekend (an all time best for the series, obviously helped by the fact this one opened on a Wednesday instead of a Friday). With $239.7 million so far (including Monday numbers) in 13 days, Eclipse is neck a neck with New Moon, $237.8 million after the same amount of days. I believe now more then before that this one might pass the $300 million mark in North America. Oh, and for those wondering, Eclipse stands at $458.7 million worldwide with the movie still not out in a lot of countries.
Predators performed exactly as expected (called it again), $24.7 million and a great debut for this R-rated genre movie that I can’t wait to watch. Hopefully it will at least show decent holds at the box office, good enough to carry it past the $60 million mark before the end of its run. Also, second best opening for the series (first if we leave Alien vs Predator out).
As mentioned above, Toy Story 3 is still rolling the big bucks, this time $21 million for $339.2 million so far and if we include the $2.8 million it did on Monday, this just became Pixar’s highest grossing movie ever in North America (not adjusted for inflation, obviously) beating former champ Finding Nemo ($339.7 million). $555.1 million worldwide and it has barely scratched the surface internationally. $900 million definitely a strong possibility, $1 billion not out of the question either.
The Last Airbender, $16.6 million, $101.8 million so far (including Monday) and going down, maybe not as fast as expected but still fast enough to keep it from reaching $140-$150 million.
Grown Ups keeps making twice as much as Knight & Day ($15.8 million versus $7.7 million) on a weekend basis with Swiss precision while the Karate Kid also continues to dominate The A-Team in the battle of the 80’s ($5.3 million versus $1.7 million).
Finally Cyrus ends the top 10 with $1.2 million after expanding from 77 to 200 theaters this weekend.
Next weekend is looking even more interesting with The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Inception, my money is on Inception but more on that soon.
For a more detailed look at the top 10 numbers for last weekend, go here.