2. “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” ($33.4 million)
3. “Predators” ($25.3 million)
4. “Toy Story 3” ($22 million)
5. “The Last Airbender” ($17.2 million)
“The Dark Knight” and the “Iron Man” franchise have established that superheroes are back in business when it comes to box office success — but don’t be so foolish as to discount the supervillains, as bad guy centric family film “Despicable Me” easily won first place this weekend, nearly doubling the total of its closest competitor, “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.”
“Despicable Me” stars Steve Carell as Gru, a routine supervillain with legions of mischievous minions at his disposal that he uses on his quest to dethrone his rival, Vector (Jason Segel). But Gru’s plot is sidetracked by the arrival of three orphaned girls that suddenly turn this veritable Grinch’s stone cold heart into something considerably warmer. Moviegoers flocked to the premise with no shortage of enthusiasm, awarding the Universal film a massive $60.1 million in its opening weekend. With a production budget of $69 million, “Despicable Me” is already a thoroughly lovable success story.
In its second weekend in theaters, “Eclipse” earned a respectable $33.4 million, taking its domestic total to a walloping $237 million, well past its own production budget of $68 million. Currently, the third entry in the “Twilight” franchise sits atop a worldwide gold pile worth $456 million.
Third place belonged to “Predators,” producer Robert Rodriguez and director Nimrod Antal’s resurrection of the fan favorite franchise. With $25.3 million domestically and $18 million from foreign markets, the latest entry in the alien-filled action series has earned $43.3 million worldwide, just surpassing its production budget of $40 million.
Fourth and fifth place belonged to continuing hit “Toy Story 3″ and M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Last Airbender” with $22 million and $17.2 million respectively.
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