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July 4th Global Weekend: ‘Despicable Me 2′ Giant $293.2M and #1, ‘Lone Ranger’ Dismal $73.2M For Depp, ‘Let Me Explain’ $17.3M

SUNDAY NOON, 13TH UPDATE: As predicted fireworks blazed at the Fourth Of July box office which headed to $229M domestic through Sunday (+16% from last year) and a new 3-day weekend record for the holiday. But there was only bad news for Disney’s #2 too-expensive The Lone Ranger (3,904 theaters) which opened disastrously Wednesday, remained weak on Thursday, did only $10.6M Friday, and flatlined for $10.7M Saturday. That’s a very disappointing 5-day holiday of $48.9M max. The two-quadrant Western won’t cover its high $215M-$250M cost despite this holiday’s 4x multiple. The Johnny Depp-Armie Hammer starrer’s domestic cume is way below Disney’s initial lowball projection of $65M and the 3rd big-budget bomb of Summer 2013. (Two Sony pics – White House Down and After Earth- also were expensive bombs.) As Deadline was first to report, the studio in August 2011 shut down Lone Ranger for six months after the budget ballooned out of control. Too bad Disney didn’t just scrap the pic altogether. Depp’s worldwide popularity may, repeat may, help overseas where oaters usually don’t excel.Lone Ranger opened day and date in 30% of the foreign landscape but only 4 big markets: Italy and Russia (released July 2) and Australia and Korea (July 4). It made $24.3M internationally for a global cume of $73.2M through Sunday. Ouch!

Far different result for the #1 movie, Illumination Entertainment’s and Universal’s Despicable Me 2 (3,957 theaters) which only cost a very reasonable $76M. It  is the #1 film in the world this weekend, opening atop the U.S. and Canadian box office with a record-breaking estimated gross of $142.1M. The 3D toon posted the biggest 5-day opening for an animated film and the top 3-day animated opening in July (earning $82.5M). Internationally, its gross widened to 6,849 dates in 45 territories to total $151.1M. The combined global cume is $293.2M. This marks Universal’s second biggest international opening weekend ever behind Fast & Furious 6 ($161M). Day after day pic kept overperforming in North America for the 5-day holiday. (“We stood here watching Rentrak and wondering, ‘Could it be?’” a Uni exec tells me.) The new worldwide cumulative easily passed $200M Saturday on its way to $300M through Sunday. Not only is DM2 performing well ahead of the original film globally but also on par with such toon franchise megahits as Toy Story 3, Ice Age 4, Madagascar 3 and Shrek 4.  And the sequel’s opening is among the top animated openings of all time in every market. Pic has 18 more territories to open over the next few months.

Kevin Hart’s concert pic Let Me Explain (876 theaters) from Lionsgate’s Summit Entertainment made $3.7M Friday and the studio projects $17.4M for the 5-day holiday. It’s yet another surprisingly strong debut from the standup comedian’s rabid and rapidly growing fanbase in the cheapest film and smallest theater count of the Fourth Of July field from major studios. Studio harnessed Hart’s social media network to plug the pic.

More analysis below. Here’s the Top Ten estimates:

1. Despicable Me 2 (Universal) NEW [Runs 3,957]
Wednesday $35.0M, Thursday $24.5M, Friday $30.5M, Saturday $29.6M
3-Day Weekend $82.5M, Domestic Cume $142.1M
International Cume $151.1M, Worldwide Total $293.1M

2. The Lone Ranger (Disney) NEW [Runs 3,904]
Wednesday $9.6M, Thursday $9.8M, Friday $10.6M, Saturday $10.7M
3-Day Weekend $29.4M, Domestic Cume $48.9M
International Cume $24.3M, Worldwide Total $73.2M
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Hot Trailer: ‘Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain’

Days after landing a buddy comedy alongside Josh Gad — to go along with a recent renewal for Real Husbands Of Hollywood, the semi-scripted BET comedy he co-created and stars in — Kevin Hart has a stand-up movie hitting theaters just in time for Independence Day. Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain follows the comic on tour, onstage and on a rant. (And it’s anyone’s guess what’s going on with the “deerbra” — half-deer and half-zebra.) Codeblack Films acquired the pic in January, and Summit will release it wide July 3. Check out the decidedly red-band trailer:

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‘Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain’ Set For June 22 Premiere At American Black Film Festival

By | Thursday March 7, 2013 @ 4:26pm PST

Kevin HartEXCLUSIVE: Kevin Hart‘s concert flick, Let Me Explain will premiere June 22nd as the closing night film at the 17th Annual American Black Film Festival. Let Me Explain was filmed during Hart’s hit 2012 comedy tour of the same name which generated more than $32 million in ticket sales. Hart is coming off last week’s ratings-boosting appearance as host of Saturday Night Live and currently stars in BET’s Real Husbands Of Hollywood, which he created for the network. The festival runs June 19th through the 23rd in Miami, Florida.

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‘Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain’ Concert Pic Set For July 4 Weekend

By | Thursday January 3, 2013 @ 12:40pm PST

Santa Monica, CA January 3, 2013 – Kicking off Lionsgate’s (NYSE: LGF) new partnership with Codeblack Films to produce and distribute feature films and other projects for the urban market, Codeblack has acquired stand-up comedy mega-star Kevin Hart’s concert film KEVIN HART: LET ME EXPLAIN, the Company announced today. The film is financed and executive produced by Hart and his Hartbeat Productions banner, and produced by Jeff Clanagan via the Codeblack Films banner. KEVIN HART: LET ME EXPLAIN captures the laughter, energy and mayhem from Hart’s 2012 “Let Me Explain” concert tour, which spanned 10 countries and 80 cities, and generated over $32 million in ticket sales. Lionsgate’s Summit Entertainment label is targeting a broad summer theatrical release over the July 4, 2013 holiday weekend.

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