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'Despicable Me 2' Tops Original in Australia Box Office Debut

Universal got its "Despicable Me 2' party started this weekend in Australia, and the box-office news from Down Under was upbeat.

"Despicable Me 2" opened to $4.3 million from 272 locations and, with $2.1 million from paid previews last week, its total gross in Australia is $6.4 million. That's the biggest opening ever for Illumination Entertainment in Australia and 38% bigger than the opening of 2010's "Despicable Me."

"Despicable Me 2" opens July 3 in North America, but Universal released the film in Australia early to coincide with the winter school holidays that commence in parts of Australia on Monday and continue through mid-July.

Also read: 'Man of Steel' Rules With $89M 2nd Week at Overseas Box Office

Two of the film's voice stars, Steve Carell and Miranda Cosgrove, traveled to Sydney for the premiere.

In addition to its opening in Australia, "Despicable Me 2" had paid previews in the U.K. and Ireland this weekend. The film was No. 1 at the box office on Saturday, besting "World War Z and "Man of Steel." The movie opens in the U.K. and Ireland, Belgium, France, Netherlands, Sweden and French-Switzerland next weekend.

The majority of international territories open with the U.S. on July 3 and over that weekend.