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Illumination’s ‘Despicable Me 3’ Crosses $1 Billion at Global Box Office

Gru and crew push past DreamWorks Animation’s ‘Shrek’ franchise to make ‘Despicable Me’ the highest-grossing animated film franchise of all time. 

Illumination Entertainment’s animated hit Despicable Me 3 crossed the $1 billion milestone at the global box office on Friday, with Gru and crew taking in $259.05 million domestically and $741.4 million overseas.

Directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda, Despicable Me 3 continues the string of successes for Illumination Entertainment head Chris Meledandri and longtime producing partner Janet Healy. Parent company Universal Pictures reported that the results have pushed the Despicable Me franchise past DreamWorks Animation’s Shrek franchise to become the highest-grossing animated film franchise of all time worldwide.

“The enduring success of Despicable Me and Minions is a testament to the extraordinary talent of the team at Illumination and Illumination Mac Guff combined with the world’s greatest studio, Universal,” Meledandri said in a statement. “Our passion for creating memorable experiences is on display in Despicable Me 3, and we thank fans for taking this chapter to a billion-dollar milestone.”

Collectively, the four movies in the Despicable Me franchise, including 2015’s Minions, have made a total of $3.67 billion globally, while DWA’s Shrek franchise earned a total of $2.96 billion. The franchise has also surpassed Blue Sky and 20th Century Fox’s Ice Age series to become the top animated franchise internationally.

The biggest animated film of 2017 at the global box office and the third-highest-grossing film of the year to date, Despicable Me 3 is now the sixth-highest-grossing animated film of all time worldwide, according to tracking site The Numbers.

The second Universal title to cross the $1 billion mark -- after The Fate of the Furious, which made $1.24 billion at the global box office -- the CG-animated feature is also the 31st film to earn $1 billion globally, with Avatar leading the list with $2.79 billion.

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.