The vine club

Despicable Me 2 Tops Wednesday Box Office

Those little yellow minions can’t be stopped! Despicable Me 2 easily won the box office race on Wednesday with $34.3 million ($4.7 million of which came from Tuesday night showings beginning at 7 p.m.), putting it on pace for a remarkable $140 million five-day debut. The $76 million film, produced by Illumination Entertainment and distributed by Universal, will easily notch one of the best opening weekends of 2013. And with an enthusiastic “A-” CinemaScore, the film is on track to quickly surpass The Croods and Monsters University to become the biggest animated hit of 2013.

Disney’s ultra-expensive western The Lone Ranger stumbled out of the gate on Wednesday, wrangling a terrible $9.7 million, which puts it on pace for a five-day debut in the $45-50 million range. The film, which stars Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer, cost at least $225 million to produce and could cause a major financial blow to the studio since westerns rarely play well outside of the United States.

The weekend’s other new opener, comedy film Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain, pulverized already heightened expectations with an impressive $4.8 million from only 876 theaters. The film, a follow-up to Hart’s $7.7 million-earner Kevin Hart: Laugh at My Pain, could earn about $18 million in its five-day start — a fantastic result for a film that cost just $2.5 million to produce.

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