There was nothing despicable about Friday’s numbers for Steve Carell’s new animated flick. In fact, Despicable Me far outgrossed every industry expectation, taking in $21 million on its opening day. The other new release, the R-rated Predators, also opened at the high end of what was expected, drawing in $10 million in box office receipts Friday. The two movies plus strong performances from The Twilight Saga: Eclipse and Toy Story 3 should help propel this weekend’s box office over last year’s tally.
Despicable Me, the PG-rated movie from Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures, is on track to earn what could be close to $60 million for the frame–a number more inline with an animated sequel rather than an original film with no built-in awareness. And Predators, starring Adrian Brody and produced by Robert Rodriguez, could earn $25 million for the three-day period.
Eclipse drew in $11 million on Friday, a number that may translate into another $35 million for the weekend. If the numbers hold, the third movie in The Twilight Saga will have maintained a better hold in theaters than its predecessors, translating into a two-week gross of $238 million. And Toy Story 3 does not seem to be adversely affected by Despicable Me’s strong performance in theaters. In fact, the beloved animated movie drew in an estimated $7 million for Friday and could earn another $23 million for the weekend. That would mark a 30-percent drop and $340 million for the frame, just enough to surpass Pixar’s Finding Nemo to become the studio’s highest grossing film ever.
The Last Airbender landed in fifth place on Friday with $5 million added to its coffers. Should its numbers stay steady, the M. Night Shyamalan epic will earn another $16 million and could hit $100 million by the end of its second weekend in theaters. Check back tomorrow for a complete report.