Walt Disney Co's big-budget Western reboot "The Lone Ranger" rode off with $2 million in U.S. and Canadian ticket sales during its first shows on Tuesday night, trotting behind animated "Despicable Me 2" with $4.7 million, according to studio estimates.
Both films are fighting for audiences heading into Thursday's U.S. Independence Day holiday, one of the biggest moviegoing periods of the year.
"Despicable Me 2," from Comcast Corp's Universal Pictures, is expected to rule the box office through Sunday with domestic ticket sales of more than $110 million, industry forecasters said. "The Lone Ranger" is projected to capture $60 million to $70 million during the same period.
"The Lone Ranger" stars Johnny Depp as Native American sidekick Tonto in an action remake based on the classic radio and TV series. "Despicable Me 2" features the voice of Steve Carell in a sequel to a 2010 blockbuster.