<i>Despicable Me 2</i> proves likable at the box office as <i>The Lone Ranger</i> falters

The Lone Ranger proved no match for Gru and his minions, as Despicable Me 2 brought in $142.1 million at the North American box office from Wednesday through Sunday -- almost three times the total of the poorly reviewed Johnny Depp-Armie Hammer Western, which brought in $48.9 million.

The Hollywood Reporter is calling The Lone Ranger the third "Big-Budget Bomb of Summer," after White House Down and After Earth, as Disney's reboot cost at least $250 million to produce. The movie reunited producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Gore Verbinski and Depp, whose Pirates of the Caribbean franchise proved successful for the House of Mouse. Overseas, the film brought in $29.4 million in 24 markets, for a worldwide total of $78.3 million.

Universal and Illumination Entertainment's Despicable Me 2, on the other hand, had one of the best showings of all time for an animated film and came in just ahead of what Toy Story 3 earned in its first five days. The sequel, which featured the voice of Steve Carrell as Gru, was the No. 1 film this weekend in 42 of the 45 countries where it was playing and has brought in $293.2 million worldwide thus far.

Overall, the North American box office brought in $222 million in three days — higher than the previous Independence Day three-day weekend record set in 2011, according to Variety. Following Despicable Me 2 and The Lone Ranger at the North American box office were The Heat, which brought in $25 million from Friday to Sunday, followed by Monsters University, which brought in $19.6 million over those three days. World War Z rounded out the top five with 18.2 million.

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