Universal is celebrating a very happy July Fourth this morning, thanks to Despicable Me 2. The animated sequel earned an estimated $34.3 million on its opening day Wednesday – just a bit under the $35 million that The Amazing Spider-Man took in on its first day in 2012. From its 3,957 locations, Despicable Me 2 is now expected to take in as much as $155 million for its first five days, putting it between the Independence Day records of Transformers: Dark of the Moon ($162.6 million) and Spider-Man 2 ($152.4 million) before adjusting for inflation.
The news for Disney was not as joyful. The studio’s pricey adaptation of The Lone Ranger failed to make its mark – earning an estimated $9.66 million from 3,904 venues on Wednesday. The studio had expected to realize at least $65 million for the five-day holiday frame but, after its underwhelming opening, The Lone Ranger’s prospects have now been scaled back to $45 million or less.
Check back this weekend for more news on the holiday box office.