"Despicable Me 2» excels for 2nd weekend in North America

LOS ANGELES. July 15. KAZINFORM The yellow minions have demonstrated their strong box-office power as "Despicable Me 2" extended its dominance in North America into the second weekend, holding off a pair of new releases including Adam Sandler's vehicle "Grown Ups 2".

The 3D family cartoon, featuring voiced by Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig and Miran da Cosgrove, is on track to take in another 44.75 million dollar worth of tickets from 4,003 theaters at sophomore weekend, distributor Universal Studios projected.

The Illumination Entertainment production is estimated to gross 229 million dollars in ticket sales by the end of Sunday, after passing the 200 million dollar mark overnight.

The animated flick, helmed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud, is the fourth cartoon ever to pass the hallmark in the same timeframe, Kazinform refes to Xinhua.

"Grown Ups 2", Sony's PG-13-rated sequel to the 2010 buddy comedy film, opened to a 42.5 million dollar weekend, beating the widely anticipated 30 million dollar debut to finish in second spot.

The ensemble comedy, hitting 3,491 theaters in the United States and Canada, skewed slightly female (53 percent). Fifty-four percent of the moviegoers was under 25.

Movie critics and audiences responded quite differently to the flick. Critics only assigned a 7 percent approval rating to it, according to reviews aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. Audience of the first night gave it a 90 percent support. Fans on CinemaScore also assigned a "B" to it.

"Pacific Rim", another wide release over the weekend, marks Hollywood's latest big-budget flop, rolling up only 38.3 million dollars to finish in third spot.

The 190 million dollar-budget sci-fi actioner, from Legendary Entertainment and Warner Bros. and hitting 3,275 locations, earned a 71 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It also earned a coveted "A-" CinemaScore, with many of the audiences being director Guillermo del Toro's fans.

The giant robots-vs.-monsters 3D epic skewed toward young filmgoers (67 percent under 35) and male (61 percent).

Rounding out the 10 most popular films in North America this weekend were "The Heat" (14 million dollars), "The Lone Ranger" ( 11.1 million), "Monsters University" (10.6 million), "World War Z" (9.4 million), "White House Down" (6.1 million), "Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain" (5 million), and "Man of Steel" (4.8 million).

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