Dastardly Gru may have struggled in his quest to become the world’s No. 1 supervillian. But he had no trouble at all propelling his film, Despicable Me, to the top of the box office this weekend. Universal’s new animated effort earned more than $60 million and booted The Twilight Saga: Eclipse off the weekend’s top rung—though Bella, Edward, Jacob et al still managed to howl up $33.4 million. The R-rated Predators stalked into third place with $25.3 million.
So, with Despicable Me‘s oversized victory—it made far more than most industry analysts expected—is it time to declare 2010 as a landmark year for family film? According to Box Office Mojo, G- or PG-rated films have topped the box-office tally for 11 of the last 17 weeks. And for the year, two Disney flicks—Toy Story 3 and Alice in Wonderland—hold the year’s top two slots.
Here’s the kicker: These family films have been, overall, pretty good. I don’t think animated movies have ever been so sophisticated, and more and more filmmakers seem to understand that good, relevant stories can be told within the confines of a G or PG rating.
Sometimes, I think Christians can bemoan the state of the culture we live in. “MacGruber!” We gasp. “True Blood! Eminem! What’s the world coming to?” Truth is, though, there’s some awfully good stuff knocking around out there. Moreover, it’s making money—which means we’re likely to see this welcome trend continue. And there’s nothing at all despicable about that.