We had high hopes for an original film heading into this weekend’s box office, but unfortunately sequels won out again.

It was a close race for number 1, but Despicable Me 2 eked out a win thanks to strong Saturday and Sunday numbers. With $44 million over the weekend and $229 million total, Despicable Me 2 is on track to blow the first film out of the water.

Not far behind Despicable Me is Grown Ups 2 with $42 million. The latest from the Happy Madison camp opened with a slightly stronger tally than the original Grown Ups ($40 million), which could put it on pace to become Adam Sandler’s highest grossing movie ever.

For as much as critics, and a large portion of moviegoers, deride the Sandler brand, he still has a loyal fan base. A strong opening might require more celebrity cameos than it used to – which inflates the film’s budget – but until the fans stop turning out, the Happy Madison truck is going to keep on rolling.

Coming in at number 3 is Pacific Rim (read our review) with $38 million. Lots of Screen Rant readers had high hopes for Guillermo del Toro’s first film in 5 years, and while $38 million isn’t a bad showing, some expected more from this robots vs. monsters flick. Perhaps the lack of a bankable star or del Toro’s smaller fan base hurt the film’s potential.

That being said, Pacific Rim is now the largest opening for Del Toro, beating out Hellboy 2‘s $32 million. The film also did very well in IMAX and 3D, which makes sense considering the scope and scale of the action sequences. So, not necessarily a failure, but a somewhat disappointing debut.

This weekend’s number 4 film is The Heat with $14 million. After only three weeks, The Heat has passed The Hangover: Part 3 as the highest grossing comedy of the summer with $112 million total.

Rounding out the top 5 is The Lone Ranger with $11 million this weekend and only $71 million total. Disney is already pulling a John Carter (reporting a loss before the film even bows out of the top 10) with this one so there’s no use trying to sugarcoat things: The Lone Ranger is a massive box office disappointment.

Coming in at number 6 is Monsters University with $10 million. Disney Pixar’s latest animated film is doing very well at the box office (as expected) with $237 million, putting it at number 4 among all Pixar releases already.

World War Z comes in at number 7 with $9 million. Was it the zombies? Was it Brad Pitt? All we know is that World War Z has grossed $177 million over 4 weeks, a feat more than a few summer releases are jealous of.

In at number 8 is White House Down with $6 million. Now at $62 million domestic, this White House invasion flick is certainly one of this summer’s bigger flops. It might luck out with most of the attention going toward films like The Lone Ranger and After Earth, but there was a hope White House Down would do better.

Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain holds strong at number 9 with $5 million. The stand-up comedy film has done very well over its first two weeks, securing a total of $26 million.

Rounding out the top 10 is Man of Steel with $4 million, which brings its domestic total up to $280 million and worldwide total up to $619 million. Unfortunately, the film won’t make it to $1 billion, but Man of Steel is a resounding success nonetheless.

Despite constant debate over the quality of Zach Snyder’s reboot, it’s safe to say Warner Bros. will want another Superman film. Which is a good thing for DC Comics fans as it increases the likelihood of solo films for The Flash and Wonder Woman.

Outside the top 10: The Way, Way Back (read our review) posts another strong per screen average ($14,051 on 79 screens) for $1.1 million over the weekend, and Sundance favorite Fruitvale Station debuts with $377,000 on only 7 screens for an average of 53,857/screen.

[NOTE: These are only weekend box office estimates – based on Friday and Saturday ticket sales coupled with adjusted expectations for Sunday. Official weekend box office results will be released Monday, July 15th – at which time we’ll update this post with any changes.]

Source: Box Office Mojo