‘Despicable Me’ Supervillains Triumph Over ‘Eclipse’

Steve Carell's animated flick takes #1 at the box office, beating the 'Twilight' sequel and 'Predators.'

The Box-Office Top Five

#1 [movie id="414296"]“Despicable Me” ($60.1 million)[/movie]
#2 [movie id="420622"]“The Twilight Saga: Eclipse”[/movie] ($33.4 million)
#3 “Predators” ($25.3 million)
#4 “Toy Story 3″ ($22 million)
#5 “The Last Airbender” ($17.2 million)

Audiences clearly didn’t despise “Despicable Me” this weekend, as Universal’s latest family-friendly animated flick won the top spot at the box office over rivals “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” and “Predators.”

“Despicable Me” stars Steve Carell as Gru, a diabolical supervillain with an army of minions at his disposal. His current mission in life is to challenge his rival, Vector (Jason Segel), for supervillain supremacy, but Gru finds himself sidetracked by the arrival of three orphaned girls who suddenly look to him as a father figure. The tale of a bad guy gone good was widely embraced by audiences across the country, rocketing “Despicable Me” to an unexpected $60.1 million first-place finish. With a production budget of $69 million, “Despicable Me” is quite the lovely new property for Universal, with franchise potential going forward.

Although superheroes and villains led the pack at the box office this weekend, supernatural creatures weren’t far behind. “Eclipse” took second place in its second weekend in theaters. With a domestic weekend worth $33.4 million, the third “Twilight” film has earned a massive $237 million in the U.S. since opening on June 30, with an even greater $456 million worldwide total.

Beyond “Despicable Me,” the weekend’s other major new release was “Predators,” producer Robert Rodriguez and director Nimrod Antal’s resurrection of the languishing science-fiction franchise. Starring Adrien Brody as one of several mercenaries abducted by aliens and turned into prey for the titular creatures, “Predators” managed a solid $25.3 million opening domestically and $18 million overseas, surpassing its $40 million production budget with a $43.3 million worldwide total.

“Toy Story 3″ and “The Last Airbender” finished in fourth and fifth place with $22 million and $17.2 million, respectively. The weekend’s highest per screen averaged belonged to newcomer “The Kids Are All Right,” scoring a walloping $72,143 per screen at just seven locations.

Upcoming Releases

Nicolas Cage brings some magic to the box office as “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” hits this week, while director Christopher Nolan and star Leonardo DiCaprio remind you that the dream is real in “Inception.”

Check out everything we’ve got on “Despicable Me” and “Eclipse.”

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