ENTERTAINMENT

‘Despicable Me 4’ debuts with $122.6M as boom times return to the box office

Jul 7, 2024, 3:02 PM

Signage is seen as Universal Pictures and Illumination present a special "Despicable Me 4" screenin...

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 20: Signage is seen as Universal Pictures and Illumination present a special "Despicable Me 4" screening at IMAX Headquarters on June 20, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for Universal Pictures and Illumination)

(Photo by Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for Universal Pictures and Illumination)

NEW YORK (AP) — After a historically bad first half of the year, the box office is suddenly booming.

“Despicable Me 4,” the Illumination Animation sequel, led the way over the holiday weekend with $75 million in ticket sales Friday through Sunday and $122.6 million since opening on Wednesday, according to studio estimates Sunday.

The Independence Day holiday weekend haul for the Universal Pictures release further extends the considerable box-office reign of the Minions, arguably the most bankable force in movies today. And it also kept a summer streak going for Hollywood.

Though overall ticket sales were down more than 40% from levels prior to the COVID 19 pandemic, heading into the summer moviegoing season, theaters have lately seen a succession of hits. After Sony’s “Bad Boys: Ride or Die” outperformed expectations, Pixar’s “Inside Out 2” rapidly cleared $1 billion in ticket sales worldwide, making it the first release since “Barbie” to reach that mark. Last weekend, the Paramount prequel “A Quiet Place: Day One” also came in above expectations.

KSL Movie Show Review: Nothing new in ‘Despicable Me 4’

With “Deadpool & Wolverine” tracking for a $160 million launch later this month, Hollywood’s summer is looking up.

“If you look at the mood of the industry about eight weeks ago, very different than today,” says Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Comscore. “The song says what a difference a day makes. What a difference a month has made.”

It helps to have the Minions at your disposal. Since first debuting in the 2010 original “Despicable Me,” each entry of the franchise — including two sequels and two “Minions” spinoffs — has been seemingly guaranteed to gross around $1 billion. The four previous movies all made between $939 million (2022’s “Minions: Rise of Gru”) and $1.26 billion (2015’s “Minions”) globally.

That run has helped give Illumination founder and chief executive Chris Meledandri one of the most enviable track records in Hollywood. “Despicable Me 4,” directed by Chris Renaud and Patrick Delage, returns the voice cast led by Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig and doubles down on more Minion mayhem. Reviews (54% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes) weren’t particularly good for the latest installment, which includes a witness protection plot and a group of Minions transformed into a superhero squadron. But in their 12-year run, little has slowed down the Minions.

“This is one of the most beloved franchises, quite frankly, in the history of film, and certainly animation,” said Jim Orr, distribution chief for Universal. “Chris Meledandri and Illumination have their finger on the pulse of what families and audiences around the world want to see.”

Family movies are powering the box office. “Despicable Me 4” performed strongly despite the still considerable drawing power of “Inside Out 2.” In its fourth weekend of release, the Pixar sequel added another $30 million domestically and $78.3 million overseas.

“Inside Out 2,” with $1.22 billion in ticket sales thus far, is easily the year’s biggest hit and fast climbing up the all-time ranks for animated releases. It currently ranks as the No. 5 animated release worldwide.

Instead of cannibalizing the opening weekend for “Despicable Me 4,” “Inside Out 2” may have helped get families back in the habit of heading to theaters.

“What happened, I think, is the release calendar finally settled into a nice rhythm,” said Dergarabedian, referencing the jumbled movie schedule from last year’s strikes. “It’s all about momentum.”

The continued strong sales for “Inside Out 2” were enough to put the film in second place for the domestic weekend. Last week’s top new film, “A Quiet Place: Day One,” slid to third with $21 million in its second weekend, with another $21.1 million from overseas theaters. That was a steep decrease of 60%, though the Paramount prequel has amassed $178.2 million worldwide in two weeks.

The run of hits has caused some studios to boost their forecasts for the summer movie season. Heading into the most lucrative season at theaters, analysts were predicting a $3 billion summer, down from the more typical $4 billion mark. Now, closer to $3.4 billion appears likely.

The weekend’s other top new release was Ti West’s “MaXXXine,” the third in a string of slasher films from A24 starring Mia Goth. In 2,450 locations, “MaXXXine” collected $6.7 million in ticket sales, a franchise best. The film, which follows “X” and “Pearl” (both released in 2022), stars Goth as a 1980s Hollywood starlet being hunted by a killer known as the Night Stalker.

Angel Studios, which last year released the unexpected summer hit “Sound of Freedom,” struggled to find the same success with its latest Christian film, “Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot.” It debuted with $3.2 million.

Kevin Costner’s big-budget gamble, “Horizon: An American Saga,” didn’t do much to turn around its fortunes in its second weekend. The first chapter in what Costner hopes will be a four-part franchise – including a chapter two Warner Bros. will release in August – earned $5.5 million in its second weekend. The film, which cost more than $100 million to make, has grossed $22.2 million in two weeks.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. “Despicable Me 4,” $75 million.

2. “Inside Out 2,” $30 million.

3. “A Quiet Place Day One,” $21 million.

4. “MaXXXine,” $6.7 million.

5. “Bad Boys: Ride or Die,” $6.5 million.

6. “Horizon: An American Saga, Chapter 1,” $5.5 million.

7. “Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot,” $3.2 million.

8. “Kaiki 2898,” $1.8 million.

9. “The Bikeriders,” $1.3 million.

10. “Kinds of Kindness,” $860,000.

KSL 5 TV Live

Entertainment

FILE - President Joe Biden attends Working Session III of the NATO Summit in Washington, July 11, 2...

Associated Press

Hollywood reacts to Joe Biden exiting the presidential race

Hollywood was quick to react to the news that President Joe Biden was ending his bid for reelection and endorsing Vice President Kamala Harris.

2 days ago

This image released by Universal Pictures shows Glen Powell, right, and Daisy Edgar-Jones in a scen...

Lindsy Bahr, The Associated Press

‘Twisters’ whips up $80.5 million at box office, while ‘Deadpool & Wolverine’ looms

Moviegoers ran toward the tornadoes this weekend, propelling “ Twisters ” to a blockbuster opening. The standalone sequel to the 1996 hit made $80.5 million in ticket sales from 4,151 theaters in North America, according to studio estimates Sunday.

3 days ago

FILE - Fox Business News host Lou Dobbs speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPA...

Associated Press

Lou Dobbs, conservative pundit and longtime cable TV host for Fox Business and CNN, dies at 78

Lou Dobbs, the conservative political pundit and veteran cable TV host who was a founding anchor for CNN and later was a nightly presence on Fox Business Network for more than a decade, has died. He was 78.

6 days ago

BURBANK, CA - AUGUST 15:  Actor Bob Newhart appears on the set of "The Big Bang Theory" for a dialo...

Associated Press

Comedian Bob Newhart, deadpan master of sitcoms and telephone monologues, dies at 94

Bob Newhart, the deadpan accountant-turned-comedian who became one of the most popular TV stars of his time after striking gold with a classic comedy album, has died at 94.

6 days ago

This image released by FX shows Eita Okuno as Saeki Nobutatsu, from left, Anna Sawai as Toda Mariko...

Andrew Dalton, AP Entertainment Writer

‘Shogun’ leads all Emmy nominees with 25 and ‘The Bear’ sets comedy series record with 23

“The Bear” has gone on a tear at Wednesday morning’s Emmy nominations with a comedy-series record 23, and “Shogun” led all nominees with 25.

7 days ago

Jack Black’s comedy rock band Tenacious D, seen here in September 2023 sparks outrage and had a s...

Jack Guy, CNN

Jack Black’s band cancels tour after backlash to bandmate’s comment on Trump assassination attempt

Jack Black’s comedy rock band Tenacious D has canceled its remaining tour dates after band member Kyle Gass sparked a backlash with an apparent joke about Saturday’s assassination attempt on former US President Donald Trump.

8 days ago

Sponsored Articles

young male technician is repairing a printer at office...

Les Olson

Unraveling the dilemma between leasing and buying office technology

Carefully weigh these pros and cons to make an informed decision that best suits your business growth and day-to-day operation. 

A kitchen in a modern farmhouse....

Lighting Design

A room-by-room lighting guide for your home

Bookmark this room-by-room lighting guide whenever you decide to upgrade your lighting or style a new home.

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

‘Despicable Me 4’ debuts with $122.6M as boom times return to the box office