Universal reports that Illumination Entertainment's Despicable Me 2 increased an estimated 23.3 percent from Thursday to Friday with another $30.2 million in the bank. The well-reviewed animation sequel has amassed $89.7 million in its first 3 days with Saturday and Sunday yet to come. BoxOffice projects that the flick will tally $80.5 million for the 3-day weekend, which would be strong enough for the third best Independence Day weekend opening in history--behind only Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Spider-Man 2. We also project Despicable Me 2's complete 5-day domestic bow will amount to $140 million by the end of Sunday, potentially aiming for the best 5-day debut ever for an animated title (Toy Story 3 holds that with $141.036m).
Disney's The Lone Ranger managed an 8.2 percent leap over its Thursday take with $10.66 million on Friday. The underperforming tentpole has made $30.2 million through its first 3 days. On pace for a $30.5 million weekend, we project a 5-day opening of $50 million. That will be enough to top the $27.7 million opening weekend and $40.96 million 5-day take of 1999's Wild Wild West, another star-driven July 4th western that disappointed at the box office.
Lionsgate's Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain continues to perform well in limited release. Despite opening in only 876 theaters, the stand-up feature has grabbed $11.1 million in just 3 days. Friday's gross rang in at $3.74 million--up 44.6 percent from Thursday--while setting the stage for a $10 million weekend. The hit release is on target for a $17.4 million 5-day opening through the end of Sunday, having already topped the $7.7 million lifetime gross of Hart's previous 2011 release, Laugh at My Pain.
Fox is reporting that The Heat pulled another $8.6 million yesterday, down just 37.3 percent from its opening Friday last week. After 8 days, the hit comedy has hauled in a healthy $70 million domestically--putting it 30.1 percent and 23.5 percent ahead of the paces of Identity Thief and The Proposal, respectively, through the same point. BoxOffice projects a $24.5 million sophomore weeend for The Heat.
Monsters University crossed the $200 million domestic benchmark on Friday as it added another $7.15 million. Despite stiff competition from Despicable Me 2 this weekend, the Pixar prequel continues to play well as the alternative animation offering. University is pacing for a $20 million third weekend. The film's $203.69 million domestic gross so far represents a 47.1 percent lead over Cars 2 and is 24.4 percent behind Toy Story 3.
World War Z took in another $6.33 million on Friday, off just 29.7 percent from its second Friday last week. With a total domestic gross of $146.71 million through 15 days now, the Brad Pitt-zombie thriller is running 40.8 percent ahead of the pace of Wanted through the same point in release and is looking at a $18.5 million third weekend.
Warner Bros. reports that Man of Steel flew to $3.92 million yesterday, down just 34.8 percent from its third Friday last weekend. After facing stiff competition which resulted in stronger than expected drops, the Superman reboot has slowly begun to stabilize. The pic has amassed a strong $263.71 million domestically after 22 days, putting it 55.8 percent ahead of Superman Returns and 11 percent ahead of the first Iron Man at the same points. Man of Steel should take in another $11.7 million this weekend.
Lastly, Sony's White House Down continued to underpeform in the wake of the holiday opening for The Lone Ranger. The Tatum-Foxx White House flick was off 49 percent from its opening day last week to $4.6 million yesterday as it heads toward a $13.5 million second frame. The actioner's domestic total stands at $41.58 million through 8 days, or 8.7 percent behind the same-point gross of Olympus Has Fallen.
Additional reporting by Daniel Garris.