[Box Office: North America] Minions power ‘Despicable Me 3’ to top of box office

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[Box Office: North America] Minions power ‘Despicable Me 3’ to top of box office

LOS ANGELES - The Minions are still a box office force and original stories are scoring big, but not the R-rated comedy - even with Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler behind it.

Studio estimates on Sunday say that Universal Pictures and Illumination’s “Despicable Me 3” earned $75.4 million over the weekend, while the former Saturday Night Live stars’ gambling comedy “The House” burned down.

Featuring the voices of Steve Carell and Trey Parker, “Despicable Me 3” easily topped the holiday weekend charts from 4,529 theaters in North America. While it’s a far cry from “Minions”’ $115 million launch in 2015, and also lower than “Despicable Me 2,” which opened to $83.5 million in 2013, Nick Carpou, president of Domestic Theatrical Distribution for Universal Pictures, says that $75 million is a number he’ll celebrate any day of the week.

Carpou notes that Illumination continues to prove itself a formidable brand for family entertainment. “They resonate and absolutely are relatable,” Carpou said. “They’re movies that are built for all ages.”

Edgar Wright’s original heist movie “Baby Driver” coasted to $30 million in its first five days in theaters, with $21 million from the three-day weekend to take second place. Sony Pictures released the R-rated pic which stars Jamie Foxx, Ansel Elgort, Jon Hamm and Kevin Spacey and cost a reported $34 million to produce.

The R-rated film did well with critics and is one of a handful of original or independent films this weekend that are notable successes. Sofia Coppola’s R-rated Civil War-set film “The Beguiled” scored in its expansion from four to 674 theaters in its second weekend. It earned $3.3 million to take eighth place and bested franchise fare including “The Mummy” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” which were both playing in over 1,670 theaters.

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