‘Despicable Me 4’ Looking to Ignite Fourth of July Box Office With $100 Million-Plus Debut

Gru and his loyal yellow henchmen are preparing to light up the box office over the Fourth of July.

“Despicable Me 4,” the sixth entry in Universal and Illumination’s hit animated franchise, is expected to bring in $100 million to $125 million during the five-day holiday frame. It’s getting a jump on the weekend by landing in theaters on Wednesday.

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Based on current projections, “Despicable Me 4” will easily tower over domestic charts but likely won’t overtake Disney and Pixar’s “Inside Out 2” ($154 million over three days) as the biggest opening of the year. The “Inside Out” sequel, which has topped the box office for three consecutive weekends, just became the first 2024 release to cross the $1 billion mark — and the fastest animated title to reach that milestone.

“Despicable Me 4” will, however, provide another needed jolt to movie theaters. After a slow start to summer, the domestic box office is finally gaining momentum — and there’s hope the bounceback will continue with “Twisters” (July 19) and “Deadpool & Wolverine” (July 26).

The “Despicable Me” franchise has come to own the Fourth of July frame at the box office. The most recent entry in the series, 2022’s spinoff sequel “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” also opened around this holiday and smashed the record for the highest film debut over Independence Day with $123 million for the five days. It ended up collecting a mighty $940 million globally. As far as its predecessors, 2017’s “Despicable Me 3” opened to $99 million, 2013’s “Despicable Me 2” brought in $83.5 million and 2010’s “Despicable Me” kicked things off with $56 million — all over the same holiday weekend.

Directed by Chris Renaud and co-directed by Patrick Delage, “Despicable Me 4” brings back the voice cast of Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig and Miranda Cosgrove for more Minion mayhem. The story revolves around the reformed supervillain Gru, whose family welcomes a son who’s intent on tormenting his dad. Gru’s life is further turned upside down when a criminal mastermind escapes from prison and vows revenge against him. Reviews were mixed (it holds a 63% on Rotten Tomatoes) but critical sentiment rarely matters for this particular, billion-dollar-grossing property.

Also this weekend, A24’s slasher threequel “MaXXXine” is targeting a single-digit start over the traditional three-day weekend. For comparison, the first film in the Ti West-directed trilogy, 2022’s “X,” opened to $4.2 million and ended its theatrical run with $14.7 million, while the sequel, 2022’s “Pearl,” launched with $3.1 million and tapped out with $9.8 million. In the third entry, Mia Goth returns as an aspiring Hollywood starlet in the 1980s who is being targeted by a killer known as the Night Stalker. Elizabeth Debicki, Bobby Cannavale, Halsey and Lily Collins round out the cast.

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