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'Despicable Me' poised to surpass 'Shrek Forever After'

Despicable With summer coming to a close, the season's animation underdog is poised to upset a king.

"Despicable Me" has now sold a total of $236.1 million worth of tickets in the U.S. and Canada. Though its box office run will end in the next few weeks, the animated family film is almost certain to surpass the $238-million total for "Shrek Forever After," which has virtually finished its time in theaters.

"Shrek Forever After" is the fourth entry in a hugely successful animated series from DreamWorks Animation; "Despicable Me" is the first movie from Universal Pictures' new Illumination Entertainment family label and is based on an original story.

Making their ultimate ranking at the box office even more surprising is that "Despicable Me" had a smaller opening weekend: $56.4 million, compared with $70.8 million for "Shrek Forever After." But audience interest in "Despicable Me" has lasted longer, and the film has grossed more than four times its first weekend take. "Shrek Forever After" had softer, though still good, word of mouth, ending up with a little more than three times its opening gross.

Many international moviegoers still haven't given their verdict, though. "Despicable Me" has so far grossed $70 million overseas but has yet to open in a number of key countries, including most of Europe. "Shrek Forever After" has nearly finished its foreign run and racked up an impressive $455.5 million.

In two big countries where both movies have launched, Brazil and Russia, "Shrek" is far ahead.

-- Ben Fritz

Photo: "Despicable Me." Credit: Universal Pictures

 
Comments () | Archives (3)

I'm not one to typically write in or post. But that said, in reading this blog entry, I'm lost and feel compelled to ask just a couple of questions. What's the point of this particular blog entry -- just a shout out to highlight the box office gains of "Despicable Me" over "Shrek Forever After" and to potentially mislead the reader into thinking that "Shrek Forever After" was the summer animated box office "king"? It seems particularly suspect and odd, especially given that there's no mention of that other major animated summer release, "Toy Story 3" -- which per boxofficemojo.com is around $400 million in domestic box office with another $600 million or so for overseas -- clearly trouncing both "Despicable Me" and "Shrek Forever After" by a pretty sizable margin. While the gains of "Despicable Me" do indeed seem like something to note as a relative achievement for the inaugural launch of Illumination Entertainment, the piece would have more credibility and show a greater breadth of basic reporting if only it could have included this additional information. And with other major news outlets reporting a couple of weeks ago that "Toy Story 3" had become the highest grossing animated film of all time and The Washington Post just reporting that it is also now the first to cross the $1 billion mark -- clearly THAT seems like a story worth highlighting.

The point is very simple...it's to highlight how the little movie that could, Despicable Me, has done better than expected, and is poised to overtake the fourth installment of a proven franchise. That's the beauty of blog entries...you can do micro stories like that without having to do a thorough analysis of every factor. Anyway, Toy Story 3's incredible success has been touched upon elsewhere and does not bear repeating here as it has no relevance to the main thrust of the story.

" It seems particularly suspect and odd, especially given that there's no mention of that other major animated summer release, "Toy Story 3" -- which per boxofficemojo.com is around $400 million in domestic box office with another $600 million or so for overseas -- clearly trouncing both "Despicable Me" and "Shrek Forever After" by a pretty sizable margin."

Crap, corrupt, influence driven reporting by the Times. Any semblance of objective reporting in the 21st century iteration of this paper is but an illusion.


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