The tiny, yellow, animated blobs have done it again.
Illumination and Universal’s “Despicable Me 3” is cruising to an easy box office win during a busy holiday weekend. The latest in the franchise is opening to $75.4 million from 4,529 locations — the widest domestic release ever. That total is lower than earlier estimates, which pegged the film above $80 million (earlier tracking suggested it could land even higher), but nevertheless it remains the weekend’s big winner.
Steve Carell plays double duty in “Despicable Me 3” as the series’ protagonist Gru, and now also his twin brother, Dru. The plot centers on the brothers, as they team up for a criminal heist. “South Park” co-creator Trey Parker joins the franchise to voice the villain. Critics are generally on the movie’s side, earning it a 62% on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie earned an A- CinemaScore from audiences, which is lower than the A earned by the first two installments and “Minions.”
“With these characters that have reached a level of ubiquity in our culture, these movies continue to create this want to see,” said Nick Carpou, Universal’s domestic distribution chief, who added, “I think we have the best marketing group in the business.”
Despite “Despicable’s” rule, perhaps the more interesting stories for the industry reside further down the box office chart.
Starting with “Baby Driver,” from Sony’s TriStar Pictures, MRC, and Working Title. Edgar Wright’s latest also appears to be his biggest box office hit, as it’s cruising to $30 million from 3,226 locations — that’s including the $5.7 million head start the movie got by opening early in previews on Tuesday.
The movie centers around a character named Baby (Ansel Elgort), who becomes the getaway driver for a kingpin named Doc (Kevin Spacey). Music plays an integral role in the film since Baby suffered a traumatic experience as a child that left him with tinnitus, which he blocks out with music. The rest of the cast includes Lily James, Jon Bernthal, Eiza González, Jon Hamm, and Jamie Foxx.
More from: Variety