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The yellow gibberish-speaking troublemakers are making history at the box office.
Grossing $46.2 million on Friday, Illumination Entertainment and Universal’s Minions scored the biggest opening day of all time for an animated film in North America, not accounting for inflation. The Despicable Me prequel is now looking at a $121 million weekend, the second-best showing of all time for an animated offering.
Friday’s estimated take includes $6.2 million from Thursday-night previews.
Overseas, where the Illumination Entertainment and Universal prequel began rolling out in select markets two weekends ago, Minions is already a blockbuster, crossing the $200 million mark on Friday. It has opened No. 1 in 43 territories, including 18 markets on Wednesday and Thursday. In France, it grossed $6.2 million in its first two days, as well as scoring the biggest opening day of 2015 to date, animated or otherwise. It also broke records in Russia, opening to $3.8 million Thursday, the second-biggest debut of all time for any film.
The current record-holder for the biggest three-day animated opening is Shrek the Third ($122.5 million), followed by Toy Story 3 ($110.3 million). Only one other animated film, Shrek 2 ($108 million), has crossed $100 million in its first weekend. The previous record-holder for biggest opening day was Toy Story ($41.1 million).
Comparisons to Despicable Me 2 are difficult, since the sequel debuted over the long Fourth of July weekend in 2013, earning $143.1 million for the Wednesday-Sunday stretch, including a three-day take of $83.5 million.
The family film follows the minions as they attend Villain-Con in Florida and find a new master in Scarlett Overkill, voiced by Sandra Bullock. She’s determined to rule England and soon, the gang all travel to London. The voice cast also includes Pierre Coffin, Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton, Allison Janney, Steve Coogan and Geoffrey Rush.
Elsewhere, Blumhouse and Entertainment 360’s micro-budgeted horror film The Gallows opened to an estimated $4.5 million Friday for a projected $11 million weekend, putting it at No. 5.
The movie, acquired by New Line and Warner Bros., cost under $1 million to make. The film centers on students who resurrect a failed high school play 20 years after a horrific accident in a small town. Travis Cluff and Chris Lofing directed Gallows, which has been skewered by critics.
This weekend’s third new offering is Gramercy Pictures’ sci-fi thriller Self/less starring Ryan Reynolds. The movie has quickly become a box office disappointment, grossing $2 million Friday for a weekend debut in the $5 million range and an eighth-place finish.
Back in the top five, Universal’s Jurassic World and Pixar’s Inside Out are in a close race for No. 2 with an estimated weekend in the $18 million range. By Sunday, Jurassic World will near $600 million domestically.
Paramount and Skydance’s Terminator: Genisys is looking to place No. 4 in its second outing with roughly $13 million.
July 10, 12:30 p.m. Updated with international numbers.
July 10: 1 p.m. Updated with weekend estimates.
July 11: 7 a.m. Updated with Friday numbers/weekend estimates.
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