Audiences flocked to the movies this weekend to beat the summer heat, but unfortunately not enough bought tickets for The Lone Ranger.
Disney's big-budget remake of the action classic, starring Johnny Depp, is a certified flop with just $48.9 million in the box office against a budget that was at least $250 million. The film did make up some ground overseas, where Depp's popularity helped bring in another $73.2 million.
On the brighter side, animated sequel Despicable Me 2 charmed both critics and audiences, and conjured up $142.1 million in coin. It was one of the best showings of all time for an animated film, according to the Hollywood Reporter, and finished just ahead of Toy Story.
But the biggest story of the weekend was the runaway success of Kevin Hart's Let Me Explain. The comedy concert documentary, which had a red carpet premiere during the BET Experience, outperformed even the most ambitious expectations with $17.5 million over the long weekend. The film, produced for just $2 million, is solid proof that Hart is a star with an extremely loyal following.
Some analysts predict that Let Me Explain will ultimately be more profitable than The Lone Ranger, and a closer look at the performance of the two films over the weekend supports the claim: Let Me Explain played a third as many theaters as The Lone Ranger, but filled twice as many seats per theater.
Next week, stiff competition blows into town with Idris Elba in Pacific Rim and Chris Rock in Grown Ups 2. For those thirsty for a bit of grown-up fare, the Oscar-buzzy Fruitvale Station is the perfect antidote to the popcorn flicks crowding the multiplexes.
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(Photo: Courtesy Codeblack Entertainment)