'Despicable Me' Tallies Astounding $60 million Opening

Being mean has worked! For Despicable Me earned an estimated $60.1 million for the weekend, proving, yet again, that animated flicks are not just for kids. And it, along with Toy Story 3, will be two of summer's biggest success stories. The other new wide release, Predators (2010) starring Adrian Brody, earned an estimated $25.3 million for the weekend--above expectations and better than the majority of other Predator movies released over the last 23 years. The performances of these two films plus the strong holds of Toy Story, Twilight Saga: Eclipse and Grown Ups helped boost the box office up a remarkable 40 percent over last year at this time when Bruno opened to $30.6 million.

Despicable Me earned a solid A from audiences, according to exit pollster CinemaScore. The same can not be said for Predators, which only received a C+ from the exit pollster. In contrast, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, which audiences love, lost 49 percent of its value the second weekend, better than New Moon did its third weekend in theaters. The film added $33.3 million to its coffers, for a second place finish. The David Slade-directed flick's total gross now stands at $237 million. (The film still trails New Moon by $18 million but with a better hold perhaps its staying power will outweigh its predecessor in the end.)

Toy Story 3 nabbed the fourth slot, falling only 27 percent for the weekend despite the stiff competition from Despicable Me. The film's total gross stands at $340 million, beating Finding Nemo and becoming Pixar's top-grossing film in the company's history. Rounding out the top five is The Last Airbender. The M. Night Shyamalan-directed flick lost 57 percent of its value, expected considering how well it opened last frame. The film, based on the popular Nickelodeon anime series, now has a gross of $100 million. The studio will wait to determine whether to green light a sequel til the international grosses begin rolling in, in the next month.

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