Universal’s animated sequel scores outstanding $22.6m (£14.9m) debut, including previews, to dethrone Man of Steel.
Following its strong $7.4m (£4.9m) previews last weekend, there was no doubt Despicable Me 2 would open big at the UK box office - it was just a question of how big.
The result was an excellent $22.6m (£14.9m) debut, including previews, with $15.2m (£10m) taken Friday to Sunday.
It marks 2013’s biggest opening to date, topping the $21.3m (£13.7m) bow of Iron Man 3, although it’s worth noting that Iron Man 3 benefitted from only one day of previews ($3.6m/£2.3m) as opposed to Despicable Me 2’s two days.
It also marks Universal’s best-ever opening weekend in the UK, ousting Fast & Furious 6’s $13.2m (£8.7m) debut in May.
Despicable Me 2’s $22.6m (£14.9m) opening marks the fourth-best animated debut of all time in the UK, behind Toy Story 3’s $32.3m (£21.2m) with $14.8m (£9.7m) in previews, Shrek the Third’s $25.4m (£16.7m) with no previews and Shrek 2’s $24.7m (£16.2m) with $8.5m (£5.6m) in previews.
The opening sets a high bar for the year’s other notable animated sequel, Monsters University, when it opens later this month.
Despite dropping to second, Warner Bros’ Man of Steel continued its healthy UK run, adding $3.69m (£2.43m).
Zack Snyder’s 3D reboot of Superman has now soared past the £25m mark and stands at $39.9m (£26.2m). It will cross £30m in the coming week, with its holdover this coming weekend giving an indication as to whether it can catch 2013’s other superhero hit, Iron Man 3.
Also for Warner Bros, The Hangover Part III added $215,000 (£141,000) for $29.2m (£19.2m) to date, while The Great Gatsby reached $23.5m (£15.4m).
Following its impressive opening salvo last week, Paramount’s World War Z posted a respectable hold in its second weekend.
Marc Forster’s adaptation of Max Brooks’ novel scared up an additional $3.67m (£2.41m) as it fell to third. It will cross the £10m mark today, standing at $14.9m (£9.8m) as of yesterday [June 30].
Given the closeness between the two weekend grosses, there’s a possible chance that World War Z and Man of Steel will swap positions when final figures are confirmed by Rentrak today.
Apocalypse comedy This is the End laughed its way to a $2.1m (£1.39m) debut from its 407 sites through Sony.
The opening of Evan Goldberg & Seth Rogen’s directorial debut is on par with the Goldberg/Rogen scripted Pineapple Express ($2.1m/£1.37m from 389 sites) and just behind Superbad ($2.3m/£1.5m), which the pair also wrote.
With strong word of mouth, the comedy could prove ideal counter programming over the coming weeks and enjoy a prosperous UK run.
Also for Sony, sci-fi After Earth added $239,000 (£157,000) for $9.3m (£6.1m) to date, while Before Midnight is up to $769,000 (£505,000) following a $183,000 (£120,000) second weekend.
Lionsgate released Hummingbird in 262 sites for a $314,000 (£206,000) debut, good enough for fifth place. Steven Knight’s directorial debut recorded a $1,198 (£786) average and is one of the lowest openings for a Jason Statham film in the UK, albeit aimed at a slightly different audience.
Behind the Candelabra is closing in on £3m at the UK box office as it grossed $283,000 (£185,656) this weekend through eOne to climb to $4.4m (£2.9m).
Meanwhile, Snitch fell heavily in its second weekend, posting a $63,000 (£41,467) result from its 162 sites. It has taken $788,000 (£517,241) after ten days in play.
Rounding off this week’s top ten, Fox’s Epic is up to $19.6m (£12.8m) after a $133,000 (£87,344) weekend.
Also for Fox, SXSW closer The East disappointed on its UK debut, recording a $99,000 (£65,269) opening from its 123 sites at a soft $809 (£531) average.
Award-winning documentary The Act of Killing opened in 12 sites through Dogwoof, resulting in a $34,000 (£22,090) opening weekend which includes $11,000 (£6,931) in previews.
CURZON FILM WORLD
Curzon Film World’s Stories We Tell achieved a $28,000 (£18,276) debut from its 17 sites.
This week sees saturation releases for eOne’s US sleeper hit Now You See Me and Fox’s The Internship, both of which open on July 3.
Entertainment’s Chasing Mavericks and Miracle’s Bula Quo! both receive wide releases, while StudioCanal’s The Bling Ring and Soda’s Paradise: Faith are among the films receiving a limited release.
Picturehouse’s A Field in England starts its ambitious multi-platform release on July 5.