Tag Archive: Despicable Me 2


With the limited access to computers I’ll be having over this week and next this will be an abbreviated version of the Box office battle.

This week, four films hit theaters. Will any break out?

“Turbo” features the voices of Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Snoop Dogg and more. And it’s premise about a racing slug has the possibility of attracting the same kind of crowd that Pixar’s “Cars” brought in. But, it’s being released after “Monsters University” and “Despicable Me 2” and with the much more anticipated (ugh) “The Smurfs 2” still to come, one has to wonder if this will be the odd animated film left out. Still, it still should do better than say “Rise of the Guardians” but probably not by much.

Opening weekend: $30-35 million

James Wan is back with “The Conjuring”. The director of “Saw” and “Insidious” has Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga starring in this film, which is gaining a ton of buzz about how scary it is. It’s not opening in as many theaters as the other films, but this one could make a strong play for first place.

Opening weekend: $28-33 million

“RED 2” stars Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker, Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Byung Hun Lee, Brian Cox and Neal McDonough. But the star power won’t help this film. The first film opened to $21 million on its way to $90 million domestically and nearly $200 million worldwide. I doubt it matches those numbers domestically as many view it as an unnecessary sequel to an OK first film, though it should open around the same level.

Opening weekend: $20-25 million

Finally we have “R.I.P.D.” The presence of Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds won’t help this film escape its “Men in Black” knockoff feel and, frankly, it looks like this summer’s “Jonah Hex”. Never a good thing.

Opening weekend: $10-15 million

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

Giant robots and Adam Sandler couldn’t stop “Despicable Me 2”, which topped the box office for a second weekend in a row. The animated sequel earned $44.7 million. Adam Sandler had the second biggest opening of his career with “Grown Ups 2”, which also features Kevin James, David Spade, Taylor Lautner and more with $42 million. Guillermo del Toro’s “Pacific Rim” opened with $38 million, a disappointing debut for the monster/robot film.
Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

Yes, sci fi fans. “Pacific Rim” is set to flop, losing to both Adam Sandler’s “Grown Ups 2” and “Despicable Me 2”. But director Guillermo del Toro isn’t worried:

“I’m not a guy that plays inside baseball. My responsibility as a director is to be fiscally responsible and deliver a movie under budget and under schedule. I think we have an amazing movie — one I’ve seen connect with an audience like crazy. So it’s anyone’s guess what happens.”

That’s true. But, with all the films he wants to make like “Frankenstein” with Benedict Cumberbatch and “Hellboy 3” it’s going to be a little tougher to get those movies made.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

Universal’s “Despicable Me 2” featuring the voices of Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Benjamin Bratt and more, opened to $142 million over its first five days. That’s just higher than Disney/Pixar’s “Toy Story 3”. Though it will see a stiff drop because of the holiday weekend being over, this film should get to $350 million and make a push for $400 million. Meanwhile, “The Lone Ranger” starring Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp struggled to $48.9 million over its first five days. That’s better than “Cowboys and Aliens”, but it failed to find the audience Disney was looking for. And with a budget of more than $200 million, this one doesn’t look good.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

On its first day of release, “Despicable Me 2” exceeded expectations, earning a little over $34 million its opening day. Featuring the voices of Steve Carell, Benjamin Bratt, Kristen Wiig and more, that puts the film on pace for a huge opening this weekend. Meanwhile, Disney’s “The Lone Ranger” starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer will be another disappointment, earning a little less than $10 million. This won’t be “Battleship” or “John Carter” bad but this one is bombing badly.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

Gru (Steve Carrell) is back in “Despicable Me 2”. Does this one live up to the original? Or is this a big disappointment?

The Good

Universal played it relatively safe with this sequel. Not that it’s a big problem. The minions are back in full force, which have become icons in pop culture already, so if you love the minions, you won’t be disappointed. They play a big role this time with some hilarious nods to classic films.  I did wonder while I was watching how the supposed minions movie will hold up. You can only take so much minion mayhem right? There are some clever moments here, especially in the beginning as the plot is getting set up and the new additions to the voice cast, mainly Kristen Wiig and Benjamin Bratt, are a hoot. And, Gru’s relationship with the girls tries to pull on your heart strings.

The Bad

Unfortunately, The end of “Despicable Me” meant Gru is a far less interesting character in this film than before. He’s the most boring character on screen, never a good thing when he’s your main character. For every great line of dialogue, there’s some ones that don’t work. This is a very unevenly paced film and, frankly, this film fails to equal the original in almost every department.

The Final Word

This isn’t a bad film. But it’s a completely unnecessary one that fails to match the first film in every regard. You could do worse, but this one is a big disappointment in my book, despite some positives.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

 

Two big movies are hitting theaters tomorrow. One a sure-fire family hit, the other a big budget western blockbuster. How well will they do?

“Monsters University” may have taken the top spot the past two weekends, but this is the first summer in a long while that another studio is going to smash them for the top spot in terms of animated films. Universal’s “Despicable Me 2” sees Steve Carell return to voice Gru and the minions are back in full force. The first film earned more than $250 million. And with no major animated films coming out (sorry “Turbo) this is going to at least exceed that by a little bit. Expect a monstrous first week.

Opening week: $110-120 million.

Armie Hamer and Johnny Depp star in “The Lone Ranger”, the big budget film that reunites Depp with “Pirates of the Caribbean” director Gore Verbinski. Disney’s playing up that angle a lot, but it has a lot going against it. First, the last Western film to open over the July 4 holiday? “Wild Wild West”. And while “True Grit” was very successful, earning $171 million domestically, that was an Oscar contender and had Jeff Bridges. The last summer Western films have been utter failures with “Cowboys and Aliens” and “Jonah Hex”. With a lot of competition for the young male crowd, this film won’t reach the heights Disney was hoping. In fact, it likely won’t earn as much as”True Grit” after it’s all said and done.

Opening week: $70-80 million

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

 

 

 

Two highly anticipated sequels and one new film on the block look to take advantage of the lucrative Memorial Day weekend. What film will come out on top?

This is going to come down to a (pardon the pun) race between “The Hangover Part III” and “Fast and Furious 6”. Todd Phillips’ latest wisely decided to open one day early. But this one has a lot working against it. The second film opened big a couple of years back, but then went away quickly, not even matching its predecessor, despite opening twice as big. Third films in franchises, (“Shrek the Third”, “Spider-Man 3”, “The Matrix Revolutions”) rarely perform as well as the first two installments. And the second one was hated by critics and fans a like. This one’s getting trashed by the critics too, so this one won’t come close to the first two film’s grosses. Still, a five-day opening of $95-105 million seems possible, but expect it also to fade fast.

“Fast and Furious 6” on the other hand is hot on the heels of “Fast Five”, which became the highest grossing film in the franchise and the most critically loved one as well. The film sees Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Dwayne Johnson return, as well as Michelle Rodriguez and a lot of others. Luke Evans joins as the villain. This film may have a tough time matching the last film because of all the competition this summer, but Universal clearly believes in this film, hiring “Saw” director James Wan to take over from Justin Lin for “Fast and Furious 7”. This one has a lot of pent up demand and is a lot more accessible than “The Hangover Part III”, though it still targets males.

A four-day opening north of $100 million should be the standard (If you include Thursday night shows).

“Epic” seems like the odd film out. It should be a hit. It’s the first animated film since “The Croods” and families will be looking for a movie to see. But, animated action films always tend to be a tougher sell and previews have given off very different tones for the film. A voice cast that includes Pit Bull, Christoph Waltz, Amanda Seyfreid, Beyonce and Colin Farrell is an interesting mix. And this one should be a modest hit over the four-day weekend. However, this is also a film that could break out in a big way if families are determined to see a film, though I think most will wait for “Despicable Me 2” and “Monsters University”. But I think a four-day opening of $45 million plus is within reach.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

This is pretty surprising given that “Despicable Me 2” is being released on July 3. But the film, which features the voice of Steve Carell. Javier Bardem was originally going to voice the villain before he passed and Al Pacino joined. Now Pacino is out over creative differences and Benjamin Bratt is steppign in. This is a pretty late in the game change, but the studio said it is confident its release date won’t be affected. This is a little worrisome for me. This is the actor who did “88 Minutes” and if he is having creative differences, how can that bode well for the sequel? 

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com. 

This summer will see the release of two high profile animated films. “Despicable Me 2” sees Steve Carell return to voice Gru, everyone’s favorite bumbling villain. Pixar goes back to the vault again, this time for “Monsters University”, a prequel to “Monsters Inc.” and with Billy Crystal and John Goodman returning to voice Mike and Sully. Which of these films will stand tallest? Here’s my very early preview of the two anticipated films.

Let me start by saying both have great potential to be the biggest letdowns of the summer. “Despicable Me 2” has the advantage of still having the minions and the child characters returning. The question will be whether this will be another installment of the same antics from the first film or can they bring something truly new to the table? Where “Despicable Me 2” has a very big advantage is even if it’s just more of Gru doing pretty much the same things from the first film, it’ll still be funny and still draw in a large audience. “Monsters University” doesn’t have that luxury. A friend pointed this out to me and I went back and watched “Monsters Inc.” and completely agree with him. The first film’s funniest movies had the little girl as the catalyst. What I mean to say is no little girl and that film becomes a lot less funny and endearing. The prequel presumably takes humans out of the equation. So, will Mike and Sully be able to carry this film when they really didn’t carry the first film? I’m worried that they won’t be able to. Pixar’s track record as of late hasn’t been great. That’s not to say films were terrible, but after a string of films like “Wall E”, “Up” and “Toy Story 3”, dealing with “Cars 2” and “Brave” frankly was a huge step down from Pixar’s standards. And I’m not sure that this film will do anything to break that streak.

Of course, “Monsters University” does have the advantage of having a more unique premise. Taking the beloved characters back to college, meaning they can target a whole new brand of humor that we haven’t seen from Pixar. From the looks of “Despicable Me 2”, all we’re getting is Gru vs. another villain once again. So if Pixar’s script is fresh and its ideas new, “Monsters University” does have the much higher upside in terms of creativity.

It’s still way too early to tell if either of these films are going to be a stinker or a classic, but if I had to choose one, I’d choose “Despicable Me 2”. I just worry that Pixar is cutting out what made the first film so funny and won’t have enough creativity to replace it.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.