LOS ANGELES

AFP

‘Despicable Me 2,’ a sequel to the 2010 animated blockbuster, led the US box office for a second consecutive weekend, industry estimates showed Sunday.

The comedy, with Steve Carell voicing villain-turned-doting-father Gru, earned an anticipated $44.8 million between Friday and Sunday, industry tracker Exhibitor Relations said.

If those numbers hold up, the film will have earned $229.2 million since its release earlier this month. In second place was the sequel “Grownups 2,” about a group of middle aged men who reunite after the death of their basketball coach and spend the summer together reconnecting.

The film, a star vehicle for comedians Adam Sandler and Chris Rock, earned $42.5 million. The Godzilla-like monsters and skyscraper-sized robots in Benicio del Toro’s “Pacific Rim” made a third place debut, earning $38.3 million.

Fourth place went to buddy flick “The Heat” starring Sandra Bullock as a talented but haughty FBI agent and Melissa McCarthy as a rough-and-ready Boston cop, with $14 million. “The Lone Ranger,” starring Johnny Depp as the masked lawman’s iconic sidekick Tonto, fell from second place last week to fifth, with $11 million in tickets sold.  In sixth place was “Monsters University,” a prequel to Pixar’s 2001 hit “Monsters, Inc.,” with $10.6 million. “World War Z,” starring Brad Pitt as a former UN investigator trying to save the world from a zombie invasion, took in $9.4 million, good enough for seventh place.