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DESPICABLE ME 2 CRUSHES THE LONE RANGER IN RACE FOR U.S. BOX OFFICE TITLE

Sunday, July 7, 2013 - Despicable Me 2 has raced to the top of the U.S. box office after raking in

$82.5 million (=C2£53.2 million) over the Independence Day holiday weekend (05-07Jul13), easily leaving Disney's The Lone Ranger in the dust.

The animated sequel, featuring the voices of Steve Carell and Miranda Cosgrove, has taken an impressive $142.1 million (=C2£91.7 million) since opening on Wednesday (03Jul13).

In stark contrast, director Gore Verbinski's modern reimagining of The Lone Ranger, featuring Armie Hammer as the masked lawman and Johnny Depp as his trusted sidekick Tonto, bombed as it debuted with just $29.4 million (=C2£18.97 million) over the weekend, making for a disappointing five-day total of $48.9 million (=C2£31.55 million).

The Western, from the same team behind the hugely successful Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, reportedly had a budget of at least $225 million (=C2£145 million).

Meanwhile, Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy's buddy comedy The Heat came in third with $25 million (=C2£16.1 million) in its second week on release, while Monsters University and World War Z rounded out the top five.

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