'Despicable Me 3' powers a strong 4th of July weekend at the box office

Despicable Me 3 UniversalUniversal‘Despicable Me 3.’

The animation studio Illumination (“Minions,” “Sing,” “The Secret Life of Pets”) proved once again that it can hang with the likes of Pixar and Disney Animation Studios when it comes to box office coin.

Its latest title, “Despicable Me 3,” won the Fourth of July weekend with an estimated $US75 million, according to Exhibitor Relations.

The successful franchise, led by the voice talents of Steve Carell, easily ran away with the box office win, as its closest competition, Edgar Wright’s latest hit “Baby Driver,” came in second with $US21 million.

Though it doesn’t look like the “Despicable Me” franchise is going to end anytime soon, “Me 3” didn’t surpass 2013’s “Despicable Me 2” opening weekend of $US83.5 million.

Wright’s heist/car chase movie, which is a critical darling with a 97% ranking on Rotten Tomatoes, opened on Wednesday and has a five-day total of $US30 million (the movie was made for around $US34 million).

The house warner brosWarner Bros‘The House.’

But there’s nothing positive to say about the Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler comedy “The House.” Released by Warner Bros., the title only took in $US9 million on over 3,000 screens.

That’s one of the worst openings ever for Ferrell — even worse than 1998’s “A Night at the Roxbury” ($US9.6 million). With its litany of big-name stars, “The House” cost an estimated $US40 million to make.

The three main wide releases this weekend (but mostly “Despicable Me”) helped Hollywood rebound from a dismal Independence Day at the movies last year, which saw lacklustre openings from “The Legend of Tarzan” ($US38.5 million), “The Purge: Election Year” ($US31.5 million), and “The BFG” ($US18.7 million).

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