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Anything But A 'Despicable' Start

Universal Studios' first foray into 3-D animated feature films got off to a stellar start, with Despicable Me taking in $60.1 million in its opening three days.  The film features voice stars Steve Carrell, Jason Segel and Kristen Wiig and represents a massive opening for a rare non-sequel/remake this summer.

Falling into second place was last weekend's top film, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, which fell 48.5% to $33.4 million over the weekend.  With total grosses of $237 million so far, the film is currently on track to eclipse the previous film in the series, New Moon which ended up grossing just over $296 million after its release last November.

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Latest Twilight Entry Twinkles to New Heights

The Twlight Saga: Eclipse, the third entry in the tweenage vampire fantasy series, got off to a stellar start since opening last Wednesday.  It took in $82.5 million over the July 4th holiday weekend, adding to the $92.7 million it had already captured in its first two days of release for a cumulative total of $175 million.  Measured against a relatively modest $68 million budget, the film is well on its way to becoming the most profitable film in the series so far for distributor Summit Entertainment.

Second place went to M. Knight Shymalan's latest film, a big screen, live-action adaptation of anime series Avatar: The Last Airbender simply titled "The Last Airbender" to avoid confusion with that "other" Avatar film, with $53 million over the long weekend, leading to a cumulative total of $70.5 million so far.  Given the critical trashing the $150 million-budgeted film took (it has an 8% rating on Rotten Tomatoes), distributor Paramount Pictures is likely more than satisfied with that result.

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Toy Story 3 Takes Crown for Second Time, Grown Ups Settle for Silver

This weekend's box office race was won once again by Disney/Pixar's Toy Story 3.  The newest sequel in the franchise that started Pixar's run of box office hits dropped 46.5% in its second weekend (a modest drop considering the huge opening weekend it had), adding another $59 million to its grosses for a total of $226.5 million in only 10 days.

Second place went to Adam Sandler's ensemble comedy Grown Ups, opening with a very strong $41 million.  Distributor Sony Pictures has a hit on its hands, especially considering the absolutely abysmal word of mouth around the film (as of this writing, its Tomatometer rating is sitting at 9%).

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Third Time Still A Charm for Toy Story, Jonah Hexed

Pixar's Toy Story 3 followed the lead of its predecessors, posting a series' best opening weekend of $109 million once all was said and done.  Toy Story 3 rode a wave of great reviews, audience anticipation and a broad demographic appeal to a stellar opening that only bodes well for the weeks to come.  Toy Story 2 opened with $57 million in 1998, eventually grossing $245 million.  The original film in the series, the first major 100% computer animated film, opened with $29 million leading to an overall gross of $192 million.  Toy Story 3 had the advantage of higher 3-D ticket prices, and with such a massive opening weekend should have no trouble becoming the top grossing film in the series.

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Karate Kid Waxes Competition

Ralph Macchio was nowhere to be seen, but The Karate Kid is alive and kicking.  

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith's offspring, Jaden, toplined Sony's remake of the Karate Kid, with Jackie Chan taking on the role of Mr. Miyagi.  The Karate Kid took in a whopping $56 million over its opening weekend.  

To put that opening in perspective, Jaden's father is one of the highest grossing movie stars of all time (approximately $2.5 billion so far), and has only had two films with larger opening weekends (Hancock and I Am Legend).  Not bad for a 12 year old.

With a budget of only $40 million, The Karate Kid could prove to be one of the most profitable films of the summer.

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