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‘Minions’ Scores Big at Box Office With $115.2 Million Debut

The animated family comedy is another huge opening for Universal and Illumination Entertainment

The “Minions” goofed their way to $39 million on Saturday night, pushing the animated comedy to a $115.2 million box-office debut.

The little yellow helpers are another huge opening for Universal this year, after the studio’s “Jurassic World,” “Furious 7” and “Pitch Perfect 2” each surpassed the $100 million mark. That’s an historic year with five great movies out, and it’s only July.

While tracking services initially projected a three-day estimate of $110 million, “Minions” is looking at $115.2 million, which puts it at the second-biggest opening weekend of all time for an animated film. The current first place holder for the best opening weekend of an animated film goes to “Shrek the Third,” which debut with $121.6 million back in 2007.

The animated family comedy played in 4,301 North American theaters, with each theater grossing an average of $26,785. The movie’s success also spread internationally as it raked in an impressive $124.3 million this weekend, bringing the film’s worldwide total to $395.7 million.

On Friday night, “Minions” made $46 million, which means the Illumination film had a setback of 17 percent on Saturday night.

The weekend’s other wide openers were more than $100 million behind. Warner Bros. “The Gallows” finished with $10 million and Gramercy’s “Self/Less” grossed $5.4 million.

“Minions,” with a $74 million production budget, proves to be a record-breaking weekend for Universal and Illumination Entertainment, even beating out “Despicable Me” and “Despicable Me 2,” which grossed $56.4 million and $83.5 million on their opening weekends, respectively.

Sandra Bullock, John Hamm, Michael Keaton and Steve Coogan provide the voices in the prequel to the “Despicable Me” franchise. Pierre Coffin, who co-directed the “Despicable Me” movies with Chris Renaud, was on board for “Minions” as well, teaming this time with Kyle Balda. The film is produced by Illumination’s Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy, with Renaud serving as executive producer. Brian Lynch wrote the screenplay for the 3D-CG comedy adventure.

Moviegoers liked what they saw, giving “Minions” an “A” cinemascore, whereas “The Gallows” scored a “C” and Ryan Reynolds‘ sci-fi film “Self/Less” received a solid “B+” from audiences. Critics weren’t as impressed with the pillow-shaped sidekicks getting a 54 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes. Comparably, Disney-Pixar’s “Inside Out” scored a 90 percent Rotten Tomato rating, with “Jurassic World” getting 71 percent.

More female fans seemed to take a liking to seeing the movie, with 59 percent of the audience women, and 41 percent male. More than half the audience, 55 percent, was under the age of 25.

“Jurassic World,” which nabbed second place this weekend, adds an incredible $18 million in its fifth weekend, which brings it to a domestic total of $600 million. Disney/Pixar’s “Inside Out” is still strong even in its fourth weekend, adding roughly $18 million. This gives the animated film a total gross of $285 million so far.

Another strong opening this weekend goes to the critically-acclaimed Amy Winehouse documentary, “Amy,” which raked in about $2 million while adding 341 location in its second weekend.

This weekend marked an overall increase at the box office from a year ago, when Fox’s “Planet of the Apes” debuted around $72.6 million.

Next week’s wide releases include Disney/Marvel’s “Ant-Man” starring Paul Rudd, and Judd Apatow‘s “Trainwreck” featuring Amy Schumer and Bill Hader. Woody Allen’s limited release “Irrational Man” will also hit theaters next week.

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