'Despicable Me 2' crushes 'Lone Ranger' on Wednesday

Steve Carell talks 'Despicable Me 2'
Steve Carell talks 'Despicable Me 2'

    JUST WATCHED

    Steve Carell talks 'Despicable Me 2'

MUST WATCH

Steve Carell talks 'Despicable Me 2' 03:10

Story highlights

  • "Despicable Me 2" easily won the box office race on Wednesday
  • "The Lone Ranger" stumbled out of the gate
  • "Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain," pulverized already heightened expectations

Those little yellow minions can't be stopped!

"Despicable Me 2" easily won the box office race on Wednesday with $34.3 million ($4.7 million of which came from Tuesday night showings beginning at 7 p.m.), putting it on pace for a remarkable $140 million five-day debut. The $76 million film, produced by Illumination Entertainment and distributed by Universal, will easily notch one of the best opening weekends of 2013. And with an enthusiastic "A-" CinemaScore, the film is on track to quickly surpass "The Croods" and Monsters University to become the biggest animated hit of 2013.

Disney's ultra-expensive western "The Lone Ranger" stumbled out of the gate on Wednesday, wrangling a terrible $9.7 million, which puts it on pace for a five-day debut in the $45-50 million range. The film, which stars Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer, cost at least $225 million to produce and could cause a major financial blow to the studio since westerns rarely play well outside of the United States.

EW: On the scene at 'The Lone Ranger' premiere

Johnny Depp cheats death
Johnny Depp cheats death

    JUST WATCHED

    Johnny Depp cheats death

MUST WATCH

Johnny Depp cheats death 00:25
Kevin Hart's deepest fears
Kevin Hart's deepest fears

    JUST WATCHED

    Kevin Hart's deepest fears

MUST WATCH

Kevin Hart's deepest fears 00:10

The weekend's other new opener, comedy film "Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain," pulverized already heightened expectations with an impressive $4.8 million from only 876 theaters. The film, a follow-up to Hart's $7.7 million-earner Kevin Hart: Laugh at My Pain, could earn about $18 million in its five-day start — a fantastic result for a film that cost just $2.5 million to produce.

Due to the July 4th holiday, there has been some delay in reporting studio grosses this morning, but check back to EW throughout the holiday weekend for more box office updates — including holdovers from last week — and have a happy Independence Day!

See the original story at EW.com.