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Can Despicable Me 2 beat Iron Man 3? The Steve Carrell movie looks set to trounce superheroes

The animated film, which features 'minions', could outperform superheroes Iron Man and Superman (Man of Steel) at the box office, according to early predictions

Man of Steel has topped the UK box office for the second weekend in a row, but Despicable Me 2 looks set to dethrone the superhero caper next week after producing remarkable preview numbers over Saturday and Sunday.

The Superman reboot earned £5.1 million in the Friday to Sunday period to boost its total to more than £21 million and beat the £4.5 million opening of Brad Pitt’s zombie thriller World War Z.

But Despicable Me 2, the animated sequel to Universal’s 2010 blockbuster, beat both movies on Saturday and conjured a £4.8 million gross over a two-day time frame.

Once its figures for this coming Friday, Saturday and Sunday are counted, it could rival Man of Steel’s £11.2m and Iron Man 3’s £13.7m as one of the biggest opening weekends of the year.

It has already beaten the £3.7m opening of its predecessor, according to Screen Daily.

In Australia, Despicable Me 2 triumphed over Pixar’s Monsters University in a battle of the animation giants.

Row Gower, Cineworld’s Head of Film, said: “After a successful preview weekend, Cineworld is expecting a high turnout for Despicable Me 2, which goes on general release nationwide this Friday.

“With films such as Monsters University, Planes and The Smurfs 2 also due to be released this summer, family films are set to take centre stage at the box office.”

Despicable Me 2, whose yellow Minion characters have led a wide-ranging promotional campaign, looks certain to out-earn the original film’s $543 million worldwide total. Prediction site Boxoffice.com believes the film will earn in excess of $350 million in the US alone.