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Whisper Numbers: Independence Day about to get Despicable



Three new films open today on Wednesday ahead of the Fourth of July holiday weekend. The animated sequel Despicable Me 2 [DESM2] looks to provide most of the fireworks. Steve Carell [SCARE] returns to voice the now retired villain Gru, but most of Universal’s marketing efforts has focused on the popular minions. Enough good will has built up with fans that the story for the sequel has become secondary. The original Despicable Me debuted three years ago at $56.4 million and legged out an astonishing total of $251.5 million. The PG-rated film appeals to not just families, but moviegoers of all four quadrants: females, males, under 25, and 25 and over. Despicable Me 2 is off to a strong start with $4.7 million Tuesday night. Playing in 3997 theaters, Despicable Me 2 could bring in $78 million from Friday to Sunday and $115 million overall.

Disney reboots The Lone Ranger [LONER] hoping to reinvent westerns much like they did high-seas adventures with Pirates of the Caribbean. Although Armie Hammer [AHAMM] plays the title character, Johnny Depp [JEPP] is the star attraction as Tonto. His latest reunion with producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinksi [GVERB] has had a troubled past due to its steep costs well over $200 million. Unfortunately, the resulting PG-13 rated film has received terrible reviews. The Lone Ranger grossed $2 million from Tuesday night, but word of mouth will likely be poor heading into the weekend. Even Depp may not be enough to attract women to a western. Two years ago, the big budgeted Cowboys & Aliens managed $36.4 million despite its starpower. Riding into 3907 theaters, The Lone Ranger may spirit away a similar $37 million over the weekend and $55 million overall.

With direct competition from Despicable Me 2 in its third outing, Monsters University [MONS2] may settle with $25 million over the weekend. After a strong debut, The Heat [THEAT] should continue to attract female moviegoers and hold around 55% for $21 million in its sophomore session.

World War Z [WWARZ] looks to add another $17 million in its third campaign, while White House Down [WHDWN] is likely to tumble more than 50% in its second weekend to $12 million.

Comedian Kevin Hart [KHART] signaled his arrival two years ago when Laugh At My Pain opened at $1.9 million from just 98 theaters. His new concert film Kevin Hart: Let me Explain [KHLME] opens wide in 876 theaters. The most popular stand-up comedian working today has built up a large fanbase that should turn out in urban markets target by Summit. The R-rated film banked a strong $1.1 million from Tuesday night showings which could indicate some front-loading. Kevin Hart: Let me Explain may take in $9 million from Friday to Sunday and reach $15 million overall.

That’s the whisper from the virtual trading floor.



Tag(s): DESM2, SCARE, LONER, AHAMM, GVERB, MONS2, THEAT, WWARZ, WHDWN, KHART, KHLME

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By Box Office Whisperer on Wednesday, July 3, 2013 @ 12:03 PM        2190 views


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