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Minions lands US top spot with second best animated opening of all-time


Story by Jack Foley

DESPICABLE Me spin-off Minions has secured the second-biggest opening weekend of all time for an animated release in the US.

The film took an estimated $115.2 million for the weekend, $46.2 million of which came on Friday – the best opening day in history for an animated film. It means that the film has already won back its $74 million production costs.

Internationally, where the film is now in its second weekend, the family adventure placed No. 1 with a further $124.3 million from 56 markets for a whopping foreign total of $280.5 million. Globally, the figure now stands at an even more amazing $395.7 million.

Shrek The Third, with $122.5 million, continues to boast the biggest three-day debut of all time.

But commenting on the figures, Nick Carpou – Universal domestic distribution chief – said: “Kids and families just love these characters, and we had a tremendous marketing and merchandising effort.

“We have now opened three movies this year to over $100 million – Minions, Fast & Furious 7 and Jurassic World – something no other studio has done in history.”

Minions follows the eponymous heroes as they attend Villain-Con in Florida and find a new master in Scarlett Overkill, voiced by Sandra Bullock, who is determined to rule England.

Elsewhere at the US box office, Universal’s Jurassic World continued to pull in the crowds, slipping only to second spot with $18.1 million for a new US total of $590.7 million.

The dinosaur epic is now poised to become only the fourth film in history to cross the $600 million mark in the US after Avatar ($760.5 million), Titanic ($658.7 million) and The Avengers ($623.4 million).

Pixar and Disney’s Inside Out also held well in spite of direct competition from Minions, placing third in its its fourth weekend, with $17.1 million. Its US total now stands at $283.6 million.

Internationally, the film also grossed a further $19.1 million from 44 territories for a global haul of $435.4 million.

That left Terminator: Genisys continuing to struggle in fourth spot with a meek $13.7 in its second weekend for a US total of $68.7 million – way behind initial hopes. Its one saving grace – and potential franchise rescuer – is that it continues to perform better internationally, where it took $47.3 million from 60 markets to bring its global total to $224.8 million.

Rounding out the US top five, meanwhile, was low-budget [and critically panned] horror movie The Gallows, another found footage offering, that opened to an estimated $10 million.

The movie, acquired by New Line and Warner Bros., cost under $1 million to make, and focuses on a group of students who resurrect a failed high school play 20 years after a horrific accident in a small town. only to find themselves being picked off one by one.

This weekend’s only other new offering was Tarsem Singh’s $26 million sci-fi thriller Self/less, starring Ryan Reynolds, which placed eighth with $5.4 million – something of a disappointment for its leading man, who nevertheless still enjoyed a strong weekend after his superhero offering Deadpool, drew one of the most enthusiastic responses from Comic-Con.

Next story: Quentin Tarantino clarifies retirement plans at Comic-Con 2015