1. Despicable Me 2 (Universal, 3,997 Theaters, 98 Minutes, Rated PG): I’m sure the producers now wish they had a little distance between this film and Monsters University.
Because this film is now coming out a few days after that film was the number one film in the land for the second week in a row.
Who knows, maybe this film will take over the number one spot and 2013 will become the summer of the animated kiddie flick.
Anyway, in this film, Gru, the ex-villain who has retired to become father to three orphans, is recruited by the Anti-Villain League to try and ferret out an evil mastermind with a powerful mutating serum. Along the way, he meets an AVL agent who catches his fancy.
2. The Lone Ranger (Disney, 3,904 Theaters, 149 Minutes, Rated PG-13): Not since John Carter has there been such hoping a film would fail. Like that movie, this one was done by Disney, it had budgetary concerns, was not loved by the critics, and is based on an archaic hero from pop culture’s distant past. There are a lot of people out there rooting for this film to fall on its face.
However, there is the Pirates of the Caribbean connection. That film also starred Johnny Depp in heavy make-up, was directed by Gore Verbinski, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and written by Terry Rossio and Ted Elliot. It was based on, of all things, a theme park attraction. It had budgetary concerns, serious studio concerns about Depp’s performance and was based on what is even bigger box office poison than cowboys–pirates. But that film more than quadrupled its budget, spawned three sequels, and earned Depp and Oscar nomination for his performance. It’s no wonder that Disney is using the PotC skull in the trailers for this film.
So, while many will be hoping this film dies a quick death at the box office, it might come out to be the biggest hit of the summer. Should be interesting to see where it lands.