New in Theaters: 'Despicable Me 2,' 'The Lone Ranger'

The Lone Ranger

This weekend’s new releases got a head start on their weekend grosses, coming out in theaters on Wednesday (to make the most of the Fourth of July crowds, obviously). For the most part, this weekend belongs to fun family films, which can expect big receptions at the box office.

One of Wednesday’s new releases was a sequel to an immensely successful animated film—Despicable Me 2. Steve Carell returns as Gru, the criminal mastermind accompanied by the horde of famous yellow minions. Actors Russell Brand and Miranda Cosgrove reprise their roles from the previous film, while such talent as Kristen Wiig and Ken Jeong join the cast for a film promising even more mayhem than the first.

Critics were largely impressed with this film—Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 75%. Many critics say the sequel is every bit as good as the first (a rare thing indeed), and those who say otherwise cannot deny that the film is still a worthy sequel, and guarantees a fun time. Box Office Guru predicts $75 million for the film over the weekend.

Wednesday also gave us a Disney reboot of an old classic: The Lone Ranger. The good people who pioneered the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise—Gerry Bruckheimer and Gore Verbinski—reimagine the classic story, casting Johnny Depp (when in doubt, bring in a solid standby) as the iconic Tonto to tell the tale of lawman John Reid’s transformation into a symbol of justice, the Lone Ranger (played by Armie Hammer).

This movie was far less well-received than our other release—critics on Rotten Tomatoes gave the film an unfortunate 24%. It falls into the trap many such films are subject to—the leads have great chemistry, but it’s just not enough to save a weak script and tawdry action. The film can still expect around $34 million over the weekend.

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