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'Despicable Me 3' grabs top spot at weekend box office

© AFP/File | Actors Kristen Wiig (L) and Steve Carell, pictured in June 2017 at the premiere of "Despicable Me 3," which took the top grossing slot at the North American box office

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - 

"Despicable Me 3," the latest installment of the animated crime caper series, debuted at the top of the North American box office, estimates showed Sunday, but fell short of industry expectations in weekend ticket sales.

Steve Carell stars as the voice of "despicable" bad guy-turned-protagonist Gru -- and his twin brother Dru -- in the Universal film.

It also features Kristen Wiig as Gru's wife Lucy and "South Park" co-creator Trey Parker as Balthazar Bratt, a former child star and evil villain whose fashion sense is suck in the '80s.

The film brought in $75.4 million in its opening weekend, according to industry tracker Exhibitor Relations, falling short of predictions that it would breach at least the $80 million mark.

Debuting in second place was hotly anticipated heist thriller "Baby Driver," with $21 million.

Ansel Elgort ("The Fault in our Stars") stars as a gifted getaway driver who suffers from tinnitus -- ringing in his ears -- and has to play music on an iPod to concentrate when he is behind the wheel.

Falling to third after its debut weekend at the top of the box office was "Transformers: The Last Knight," the fifth installment in the blockbuster series which raked in $17.0 million.

The film, which is heavy on visual effects, features actors Mark Wahlberg, Josh Duhamel, John Turturro and Anthony Hopkins, and opened to what was by far the weakest debut in the franchise's history.

Warner Bros. superhero action film "Wonder Woman," starring Gal Gadot as the Amazonian goddess-princess, earned some $15.6 million, landing in fourth place and bringing the film's total domestic ticket sales to $346.1 million in five weeks.

Meanwhile Pixar's "Cars 3" cruised into fifth place, with $9.5 million in its third weekend.

The animated movie features Lightning McQueen and his longtime friends fighting off a challenge from a new generation of racers, voiced by actors including Owen Wilson, Cristela Alonzo and Armie Hammer.

Rounding out the top 10 were:

"The House" ($9.0 million)

"47 Meters Down" ($4.7 million)

"The Beguiled" ($3.3 million)

"The Mummy" ($2.8 million)

"Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales" ($2.4 million)

© 2017 AFP