'Despicable Me 2' is outperforming 'The Lone Ranger' at the box-office in North America.

The 3D animated kids film has taken $82.5m million over the weekend, whereas the Johnny Depp and Arnie Hammer-starring Disney western has only made $29.5 million since its release in the US - despite costing a whopping $250 million to make.

The cartoon sequel - which features the voices of comic actors Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig - proved an immediate hit in North America, scoring the second-best July Fourth gross ever with $24.5 million, just behind robot adventure 'Transformers' which took in $29.1 million in 2007.

Meanwhile, 'The Lone Ranger' is likely to prove a financial problem for Disney, especially since it was almost scrapped during production because of its mammoth budget, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The much-hyped movie, directed by Gore Verbinski and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, was expected to cause as big of a stir as the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' franchise, in which Depp also stars as an eccentric yet loveable character.

Dave Hollis, Disney's head of distribution, told the BBC: ''We thought it would appeal to a broader audience than it did. Even when you have all the ingredients for what you think will be a four-quadrant 'everybody' picture, sometimes it doesn't work out that way.''

The 'Despicable Me' sequel sees Steve Carell voice loveable reformed villain Gru, who raises his three adopted daughters after giving up his career as a criminal mastermind.

The 50-year-old funnyman was convinced the film was going to be a success even before its release, as the father-of-two felt Gru's difficulty adjusting to his new role will strike a chord with many parents who take their kids to see the film.

He explained to Collider.com: ''He can't go back to being a villain, but ultimately he needs something that will fulfil him, which is a very relatable thing for parents, because when you do have kids, I found, it becomes all about the kids, and it's very easy to lose your sense of self within that.''