NEW weekend, same storyline:

Animation continues to beat action.

One week after “Despicable Me 2” drummed “The Lone Ranger, the cartoon sequel easily outdistanced the debut of another big-budgeted action blockbuster, “Pacific Rim,” according to studio estimates Sunday. (Final numbers are due Monday.)

Universal’s “Despicable” sequel grossed $44.8-million domestically — down only 46-percent in its second weekend, according to Variety — to remain box-office champ. “DM2” edged “GU2” (the critic-proof sequel in Adam Sandler’s sturdy “Grown Ups” franchise), which debuted to $42.5-million.

The critically well-received “Pacific Rim” grossed just $38.3-million domestically, but Warner Bros./Legendary’s robots-and-sea-monsters film — made for $185-million — shored up some of the loss by grossing $53-million overseas.

In a much tighter race, “Despicable Me 2” ($100.3-million) also beat “Pacific Rim” ($91.3-million) globally.

The acclaimed Weinstein-distributed film “Fruitvale Station” — about a Bay Area officer’s fatal shooting of Oscar Grant in 2009 — had the highest per-theater average of $54,000; it opened at seven major-market theaters.