Please note that because of the Independence Day holiday, today's numbers are a mix of studio estimates and actual grosses. Full actual grosses for Wednesday and Thursday will be reported on Monday.
Despicable Me 2 continued to lead the daily box office with ease on Thursday with an Independence Day take of $24.5 million. The computer animated sequel from Universal and Illumination Entertainment has grossed a massive $59.5 million in its first two days. It should be noted that the Wednesday estimate for Despicable Me 2 has been revised upwards to $35.0 million. BoxOffice is currently projecting a five-day start in the range of $146 million - $152 million, which would outpace the film's already lofty pre-release expectations.
Despicable Me 2 did drop a sizable 30 percent on Thursday, but that was likely largely a result of family audiences turning their attention towards other holiday activities. Even with the percentage decline, Despicable Me 2 claimed the second largest unadjusted July 4th performance ever (behind only the $29.07 million Wednesday take of Transformers back in 2007). Expect Despicable Me 2 to pick back up nicely today. Despicable Me 2 has received a very encouraging A rating on CinemaScore, which is a good sign for the film going forward.
Disney's The Lone Ranger stabilized on Thursday with a second place take of $9.85 million. However, in the bigger picture the expensive western starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer is off to a very disappointing two-day start of $19.50 million. The Lone Ranger was up a solid 2 percent over Wednesday's performance, a sure sign that the film is skewing heavily towards older moviegoers and not drawing in family audiences. After Thursday's stronger than expected hold, BoxOffice is currently projecting a five-day start in the area of $49 million - $54 million. With a respectable B+ rating on CinemaScore, it does appear that the poorly reviewed film is going over better with audiences than with critics.
On the heels of Wednesday's much stronger than anticipated start, Lionsgate's Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain did drop a sharp 46 percent on Thursday to gross $2.59 million. While the comedy concert documentary looks to be quite front-loaded in its initial days of release, the film is still off to an impressive $7.36 million two-day start (especially since it is only playing in 876 locations). BoxOffice is projecting a five-day take in the area of $15 million - $18 million for Let Me Explain. In comparison, last year's Laugh at My Pain grossed $7.71 million during its entire domestic run.