Despicable Me’s Box Office Campaign Succeeds

Despicable Me performed beyond admirably this weekend at the box office, posting a $60.1 million opening.

That exceeded expectations, which ranged from $24 million on the low end to $50 million on the high end. The CG-animated feature, which was released in stereoscopic 3-D, was the first release from the partnership of Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures. The film also made $5 million in limited release in minor overseas markets. It will roll out in most major markets through August.

Coming in second place was The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, with a $33 million weekend. That brings its domestic gross to $237 million. Its foreign gross has reached $219 million for a worldwide total of $456 million to date.

Toy Story 3 remains a strong contender, coming in third place with $22 million in its fourth weekend of release. The Disney-Pixar animated film, also released in stereoscopic 3-D, has racked up $340 million in domestic ticket sales to date. Its foreign take stands at $213 million for a worldwide total of $553 million.

Taking a big tumble was Paramount’s The Last Airbender, based on the popular Nickelodeon animated adventure series Avatar: The Last Airbender. The film made $17.1 million this weekend for a domestic total of $100 million. The movie has so far grossed about $10 million overseas.

DreamWorks Animation still has a pair of releases out there with Shrek Forever After and How to Train Your Dragon both adding minor amounts to their domestic totals of $233 million and $216 million respectively. Overseas, Shrek Forever After has completed its rollout in most markets and has earned $210 million overseas for $443 million total. Dragon, meanwhile, has tallied $262 million in ticket sales overseas to earn a total of $478 million.