Here you’ll discover news, reviews, and new projects from Illumination Entertainment movies. Illumination studios movies are among the most popular and represent one of the youngest animated movie production companies, which was founded in 1997. Their first animated movie, Despicable Me made a huge splash and they have big plans for the future.
Team up with the minions and find Illumination Entertainment jobs on their site.
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Illumination Movies List
- Sing 2
- Minions: The Rise of Gru
- The Secret Life of Pets 2
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas
- Despicable Me 3
- The Secret Life of Pets
- Despicable Me 2
- The Lorax
- Despicable Me
A Look into Illumination
Illumination Entertainment is an Animation Production Company based in Santa Monica, California. It was founded in 2007 by Chris Meledandri and is best known for it’s animated films Despicable Me 1, 2, 3, and their spin-off, Minions. All four had the box office busy together with animation lovers from all over the world excited. The company is on a partnership where it has its hand on production while Universal Studios is responsible for financing and distribution.
A Bit of History
Meledandri was previously working as the president of 20th Century Fox Animation where he produced various well-known movies like the Ice Age, its sequel The Meltdown, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Horton Hears a Who!, and not forgetting Robots. In 2007, he left his post to start Illumination Entertainment. The studio is currently owned by Universal who has exclusive distribution while Illumination retains creative control. In 2011, the company acquired Mac Guffs animation department to form Illumination Mac Guff. This acquisition is responsible for presenting The Lorax and Despicable Me to the world.
How They Do It
Meledandri is an animation guru who strives to ensure that his company adheres to a low-cost model. They, therefore, employ strict cost controls in the production of their animation films. In today’s world, movie expenses soar very high to over $100 million. However, Illumination managed to complete its first two releases at surprisingly low budgets. Despicable Me was produced on a $69 million expense with Hop costing $63 million. The studio manages this by employing various cost-conscious techniques.
The Road So Far
Despicable Me was Illumination’s first movie, and an instant hit upon its release in July 2010. The film grossed $543 million worldwide. Steve Carell stars as the voice of Gru, a villain who is very terrible at being bad. Additionally, the movie introduces the World to the Minions. These little yellow creatures seek to serve the most despicable masters.
Hop followed, and then The Lorax came. Both movies were successes at the box office grossing $184 million and $348 million respectively. However, Illumination Entertainment soon realized what the world wanted was more Minions. Back to work, Despicable Me 2 was on screens in 2013. With Gru and Minions being the talk of the town among movie lovers, the company struck gold, raking in over $970 million worldwide. After Despicable Me 2, the studio was fast becoming a force to be reckoned with in the world of animations.
Stick to what you do best; this is the advice Illumination kept in mind when they decided to make a Minions-centric movie. Minions served as a prequel to the 2 Despicable Me movies, focusing on the life of the Minions before they met Gru. On its release, the film became an instant success grossing over $1.159 billion worldwide.
Minions are currently Illumination’s most successful movie and comfortably sits at second place behind Frozen in the list of highest-grossing animated films. However, this figure is only a reflection of sales but does not tell the other side of the story. A myriad of Minions merchandise has been sold worldwide from clothing to toys, and even food.
Riding on the success and popularity of the minions, Illumination Entertainment soon got back to business with The Secret Life of Pets. Even though the film did not reach the heights of success enjoyed by Minions, the studio showed the world that they could deliver on exactly what the family audience needs.
The Secret Life Of Pets is based on the story of Max, a puppy living in New York. His owner, Katie brings home Duke, a huge hound to keep him company. However, they do not get along but reconcile at the end when they end up needing each other. The film made a few justifiable comparisons to the Toy Story. Even though it has been described as lacking depth, it features pieces of incredible and enjoyable escapism and elicits happiness.
Sing was another smash hit for the studio and has grossed $467 million worldwide. It features the voices of Reese Witherspoon and Matthew McConaughey as animals participating in a singing competition. Sing also earned a nomination in the best-animated feature category at the 2017 Golden Globes but lost to Zootopia.
Following the release of Sing was Despicable Me 3 that was released on June 30th, 2017. With a budget of $80 million, the film has grossed $175 million in the United States and $296 million from foreign sales bringing the total at $471 million so far. This is very impressive with only less than 2 months showing in cinemas. It seems like the public love for the minions is not waning off anytime soon.
What to Expect in The Future
With so many successes under its belt, the future for Illumination Entertainment seems bright. The sequel for Sing is already slated for 2020. For the critics not convinced that The Secret Life of Pets earned a spot as one of the best-animated films, they now have a second opportunity to analyze it with The Secret Life of Pets 2 coming out in July 2020.
Also lined up is an adaptation from Ricky Gervais Fanimals and a Dr. Suess animated adaptations; How the Grinch Stole Christmas that is set for November 2018. With the world not getting enough of Minions, we will all be eagerly awaiting for its sequel also in July 2020. From these new releases that have been announced, it is evident that as much as Illumination has pushed the pedal on the Minions, it also has not forgotten to take on some classic stories and bring them to a new audience, just like Disney has done in the past.
In just 10 years, Meledandri has grown Illumination from a tiny independent company to becoming one of the most successful animation powerhouses today. Other large animation production houses such as Disney, Pixar, and DreamWorks view the studio as an equal and as a worthy rival. The world, on the other hand, is looking to Illumination to keep on doing what it is doing best, feeding the family audience with a comical slice of entertainment. With such a successful past and a promising future, all we are left to do is patiently wait; wait for so much more.
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