‘Despicable Me 4’ Leads July 4th Box Office with $20.4 Million; ‘Inside Out 2’ Surpasses $500 Million in U.S. Theaters

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As Americans celebrated Independence Day with fireworks and barbecues, Illumination and Universal Studios’ latest animated venture, “Despicable Me 4,” dominated the box office, raking in an impressive $20.4 million on July 4th. This figure marks a significant 28% increase over the holiday debut of its predecessor, “Minions: Rise of Gru,” which grossed $16 million in 2022. Furthermore, “Despicable Me 4” surpassed “Despicable Me 3’s” $12.7 million holiday earnings in 2017, solidifying its place as the second-highest Independence Day opener for the franchise, following “Despicable Me 2’s” $24.5 million haul in 2013.

The film, directed by Chris Renaud and Patrick Delage, continues the adventures of reformed supervillain Gru, voiced by Steve Carell, who must contend with new foes including Will Ferrell’s Maxime Le Mal and Sofia Vergara’s Valentina. Adding to the allure are the beloved minions, voiced by Pierre Coffin, whose antics have charmed audiences across multiple installments. Despite a critical reception hovering at 53% on Rotten Tomatoes, audience scores reflect a robust 89% approval, underscoring the franchise’s enduring popularity among fans.

According to early projections, “Despicable Me 4” is on track to gross approximately $120 million during its five-day holiday run, a testament to its broad appeal and the enduring draw of animated family entertainment. The film’s strong performance comes amidst a resurgence in theatrical attendance as audiences return to cinemas following pandemic-related closures and restrictions.

Alongside “Despicable Me 4,” Disney/Pixar’s “Inside Out 2” crossed a monumental milestone, surpassing $500 million in domestic box office receipts with a Thursday gross of $7.2 million. This achievement positions “Inside Out 2” as the third-highest-grossing animated film domestically and the sixth globally, amassing over $1.07 billion worldwide.

Paramount’s horror prequel, “A Quiet Place: Day One,” also continued to resonate with audiences, adding $4.7 million on July 4th for a cumulative total of $73.3 million. Meanwhile, Angel Studios’ debut feature, “Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot,” opened strong with $3.1 million, buoyed by an A+ CinemaScore and positive audience reception for its inspiring narrative about foster care and community transformation in Texas.

Kevin Costner’s ambitious Western saga, “Horizon: An American Saga,” experienced a holiday boost, earning $1.87 million on July 4th and bringing its total to $16.7 million. Despite facing challenges with mixed critical reviews and tepid audience response, Costner remains committed to expanding the franchise with forthcoming sequels.

Looking ahead, “Despicable Me 4” will continue its international rollout in 52 markets, including key territories like Mexico, Spain, and Brazil. With an already strong international performance contributing to a global tally expected to exceed $200 million by the end of the weekend, the film reinforces the Minions and Despicable Me universe’s status as a box office juggernaut, amassing a cumulative $4.67 billion worldwide.


As Hollywood navigates a crowded release calendar and evolving audience preferences, “Despicable Me 4” stands out as a beacon of success, illustrating the enduring appeal of animated storytelling and the power of beloved franchises to captivate global audiences.

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