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Illumination (animation company)

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Illumination
Division
Industry Animation
Motion pictures
Founded 2007; 11 years ago (2007)
Founder Chris Meledandri
Headquarters Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Key people
Chris Meledandri (CEO)[1]
Peter Schube (COO)[2]
Products Animated films
Owner Chris Meledandri[3][4]
Comcast
Number of employees
100 (2016)[5]
Parent Universal Pictures
(NBCUniversal)
Subsidiaries Illumination Mac Guff
Website Official website

Illumination Entertainment, or simply Illumination, is an American film and animation studio, founded by Chris Meledandri in 2007. It is owned by Meledandri and Universal Pictures,[3][4][6] a division of NBCUniversal, which is itself a division of Comcast. Meledandri produces the movies while Universal finances and distributes all the films.[4] The studio is best known for the Despicable Me franchise, and has also produced the films The Secret Life of Pets and Sing. The Minions, characters from the Despicable Me films, are the studio's official mascots.

Illumination's highest-grossing films are Minions (2015), which has grossed $1.159 billion worldwide, Despicable Me 3 (2017), $1.033 billion, and Despicable Me 2 (2013), $970.8 million. All three are among the 50 highest-grossing films of all time, and six of the films are among the 50 highest-grossing animated films, with Minions being the second all-time highest.

Contents

HistoryEdit

Meledandri left his post as President of 20th Century Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios in early 2007. While at those companies he supervised or executive produced movies including Ice Age (2002), its sequel Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006), Robots (2005), and Horton Hears a Who! (2008). After leaving, he founded Illumination. By 2008, a deal was announced positioning Illumination as NBCUniversal’s family entertainment arm that would produce one to two films a year starting in 2010. As part of the deal, Illumination retains creative control and Universal exclusively distributes the films.[7] During the summer 2011, Illumination acquired the animation department of the French animation and visual effects studio Mac Guff, which animated Despicable Me (2010) and The Lorax (2012), and formed Illumination Mac Guff.[8][9][10]

On August 22, 2016, NBCUniversal acquired competing studio DreamWorks Animation, appointing Meledandri to oversee both studios.[11][12][13]

ProcessEdit

Meledandri is determined to keep his company adhering to a low-cost model, recognizing that "strict cost controls and hit animated films are not mutually exclusive".[14] In an industry where movie expenses often exceed $100 million, Illumination's first two releases were completed with significantly lower budgets, considering Despicable Me's $69 million budget and the $63 million budget of Hop.[14] One way the company sustains a lean financial model is by employing cost-conscious animation techniques that lower the expenses and render times of its computer graphics.[14]

ProjectsEdit

The studio's first film, Despicable Me, was released on July 9, 2010, and was a smash hit, earning $56 million on its opening weekend, and going on to earn $251 million domestically and $543 million worldwide. Illumination's second film was the live action/CGI hybrid Hop (2011), which opened to a much bigger than expected $37 million opening, and ended up with $108 million domestically and $183 million worldwide. An adaptation of Dr. Seuss' The Lorax, debuted on March 2, 2012, earning $70 million on its opening weekend, and eventually found its way to $214 million stateside and $348 million worldwide. The studio's first sequel, Despicable Me 2, opened in the United States on July 3, 2013, earning over $970 million worldwide,[15] becoming the second highest-grossing 2013 animated film and breaking a record as the most profitable Universal Studios film in its 100-year history.[16] The spin-off to Despicable Me, titled Minions, was released on July 10, 2015,[17] and has grossed over $1 billion worldwide.

The Secret Life of Pets was released on July 8, 2016.[18] Directed by Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney, the film would earn $104 million in its opening weekend, $368 million stateside, and $875 million worldwide. Sing, a comedy written and directed by Garth Jennings, was released on December 21, 2016.[19] It was the first movie for the studio to have a Christmas release. The film would earn $56 million in its first 5 days, grossing $270 million stateside and $634 million worldwide. It also holds the record for the highest grossing film not to ever be at #1 in its run. Despicable Me 3 was released on June 30, 2017, and became the 2nd film to earn $1 billion for the studio, and set a record for the highest theater count ever with 4,536 theaters in its 2nd week. The second film from Illumination based on a Dr. Seuss book, Dr. Seuss' The Grinch, is scheduled for release on November 9, 2018, and is directed by Peter Candeland and Yarrow Cheney from an adaptation by Michael LeSieur.[19] Other future projects are The Secret Life of Pets 2, Minions 2, and Sing 2.[20] It will be followed by four more untitled films; the release dates are: July 2, 2021; July 1, 2022; December 21, 2022; and June 30, 2023.[21]

Other films in development include a film adaptation based on the short Johnny Express and Despicable Me 4.

On May 19, 2011, Illumination announced that it would be working with Universal Studios to create Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem, a 3-D ride at Universal Parks & Resorts in Orlando, Hollywood, and Osaka.[22] The ride officially opened on July 2, 2012 in Orlando, Hollywood on April 12, 2014, and Osaka on April 21, 2017.

On November 14, 2017, the Wall Street Journal reported that Illumination is teaming up with Nintendo to make an animated Mario film. In January 2018, then-Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima stated that, if plans go smoothly, a Mario movie could happen by 2020.[23][24][25] On January 31, 2018, Nintendo announced during a fiscal meeting that they are partnering with Illumination on a movie starring Mario, which will be co-produced by Chris Meledandri and Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto.[26]

FilmographyEdit

Feature filmsEdit

Released filmsEdit

# Title Release date Budget Gross RT MC
1 Despicable Me July 9, 2010 $69 million $543.1 million 81% 72
2 Hop[S] April 1, 2011 $63 million $184.0 million 25% 41
3 Dr. Seuss' The Lorax March 2, 2012 $70 million $348.8 million 54% 46
4 Despicable Me 2 July 3, 2013 $76 million $970.8 million 74% 62
5 Minions July 10, 2015 $74 million $1.159 billion 56% 56
6 The Secret Life of Pets July 8, 2016 $75 million $875.5 million 75% 61
7 Sing December 21, 2016 $632.2 million 72% 59
8 Despicable Me 3 June 30, 2017 $80 million $1.033 billion 59% 49
S Combines live-action with animation.

Upcoming filmsEdit

# Title Release date Ref(s)
9 Dr. Seuss' The Grinch November 9, 2018 [27][28][29]
10 The Secret Life of Pets 2 June 7, 2019 [30]
11 Minions 2 July 3, 2020 [31][30]
12 Sing 2 December 25, 2020 [31][30]
13 Untitled films July 2, 2021 [21]
14 July 1, 2022
15 December 21, 2022
16 June 30, 2023

Films in developmentEdit

Title Ref(s)
Johnny Express [32][33]
Despicable Me 4 [34]
Untitled animated Mario film [23]

Short filmsEdit

# Title Release date
1 Home Makeover December 14, 2010
2 Orientation Day
3 Banana
4 Brad & Gary[35][36][37] 2011
5 Phil's Dance Party March 23, 2012
6 Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem July 2, 2012
7 Wagon Ho! August 7, 2012
8 Forces of Nature
9 Serenade
10 Puppy December 10, 2013
11 Panic in the Mailroom
12 Training Wheels
13 Cro Minion December 8, 2015
14 Competition
15 Binky Nelson Unpacified
16 Mower Minions July 8, 2016
17 Norman Television December 6, 2016
18 Weenie
19 Gunter Babysits March 21, 2017
20 Love at First Sight
21 Eddie's Life Coach
22 The Secret Life of Kyle December 5, 2017

FranchisesEdit

Title Release date
Despicable Me 2010–present
The Secret Life of Pets 2016–present
Sing

AccoladesEdit

Academy AwardsEdit

Year Film Category Winner/Nominee(s) Result
2013 Despicable Me 2 Best Animated Feature Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin & Chris Meledandri Nominated
Best Original Song "Happy" – Pharrell Williams

Golden Globe AwardsEdit

Year Film Category Winner/Nominee(s) Result
2010 Despicable Me Best Animated Feature Film Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin Nominated
2013 Despicable Me 2
2016 Sing Garth Jennings
Best Original Song "Faith" – Ryan Tedder, Stevie Wonder and Francis Farewell Starlite

Annie AwardsEdit

Year Film Category Winner/Nominee(s) Result
2010 Despicable Me Best Animated Feature Chris Meledandri, Janet Healy and John Cohen Nominated
Voice Acting in a Feature Production Steve Carell
Character Design In an Animated Film Carter Goodrich
Directing in a Feature Production Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin
Music in a Feature Production Pharrell Williams and Heitor Pereira
Production Design in a Feature Production Yarrow Cheny and Eric Guillon
2011 Hop Character Animation in a Live Action Production Andrew Arnett
2012 The Lorax Character Design in an Animated Feature Production Eric Guillon, Yarrow Cheney and Colin Stimpson
Music in an Animated Feature Production John Powell, Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul
2013 Despicable Me 2 Best Animated Feature Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy
Best Animated TV/Broadcast Commercial Despicable Me 2 Won
Voice Acting in a Feature Production Steve Carell Nominated
Kristen Wiig
Pierre Coffin
Character Animation in an Animated Feature Production Jonathan Del Val
Character Design In an Animated Film Eric Guillon
Directing in a Feature Production Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin
Music in a Feature Production Pharrell Williams and Heitor Pereira
Production Design in a Feature Production Yarrow Cheny and Eric Guillon
Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production Eric Favela
2015 Minions Outstanding Achievement in Animated Effects in an Animated Production Frank Baradat, Antonin Seydoux, Milo Riccarand and Nicolas Brack
Voice Acting in a Feature Production Jon Hamm
Pierre Coffin
Outstanding Achievement in Production Design in an Animated Feature Production Eric Guillon
Character Design In an Animated Film
Outstanding Achievement in Character Animation in a Feature Production Hichem Arfaoui
Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production Habib Louati
2016 The Secret Life of Pets Character Design in an Animated Feature Production Eric Guillon
Music in an Animated Feature Production Alexandre Desplat
Sing Joby Talbot
2017 Despicable Me 3 Best Animated Feature Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy
Animated Effects in an Animated Production Bruno Chauffard, Frank Baradat, Nicolas Brack and Milo Riccarand
Character Design in an Animated Feature Production Eric Guillon

BAFTA AwardsEdit

Year Film Category Winner/Nominee(s) Result
2010 Despicable Me Best Animated Film Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin Nominated
2013 Despicable Me 2
2015 Minions Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda

Critics' Choice AwardsEdit

Year Film Category Winner/Nominee(s) Result
2010 Despicable Me Best Animated Film Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin Nominated
2013 Despicable Me 2 Best Animated Film
Best Original Song "Happy" – Pharrell Williams
2017[38] Despicable Me 3 Best Animated Film Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda

Kids' Choice AwardsEdit

Year Film Category Winner/Nominee(s) Result
2010 Despicable Me Favorite Animated Movie Won
Favorite Buttkicker Steve Carell Nominated
2012 The Lorax Favorite Voice From an Animated Movie Taylor Swift Nominated
2013 Despicable Me 2 Favorite Animated Movie Nominated
Favorite Voice From an Animated Movie Steve Carell Nominated
Miranda Cosgrove Won
2015 Minions Favorite Animated Movie Nominated
Favorite Voice From an Animated Movie Sandra Bullock Nominated
2016 The Secret Life of Pets Favorite Animated Movie Nominated
Favorite Voice From an Animated Movie Kevin Hart Nominated
Favorite Villain Won
Most Wanted Pet Won
Sing Favorite Animated Movie Nominated
Favorite Voice From an Animated Movie Reese Witherspoon Nominated
Most Wanted Pet Nominated
2017 Despicable Me 3 Favorite Animated Movie Nominated

Producers Guild of America AwardEdit

Year Film Category Winner/Nominee(s) Result
2010 Despicable Me Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Picture Chris Meledandri, Janet Healy and John Cohen Nominated
2013 Despicable Me 2 Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy
2015 Minions
2016 The Secret Life of Pets
2017 Despicable Me 3

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Gaita, Paul (December 5, 2017). "Illumination's Chris Meledandri Melds Together Cinematic Art and Cutting-Edge Technology". Variety. Retrieved March 30, 2018. 
  2. ^ McNary, Dave (February 23, 2017). "Illumination Taps Peter Schube as Chief Operating Officer". Variety. Retrieved March 30, 2018. 
  3. ^ a b Debruge, Peter (July 17, 2013). "Illumination Chief Chris Meledandri Lines Up Originals for Universal". Variety. Retrieved September 13, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c Kilday, Gregg (December 9, 2016). "Illumination's Chris Meledandri Talks Success Secrets, Rumors He'll Head DreamWorks". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 22, 2017. 
  5. ^ Richford, Rhonda (December 9, 2016). "An Inside Look at Illumination's 24/7 Operation, From L.A. to Paris". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 30, 2018. 
  6. ^ "Why Illumination Entertainment Is One Of The Most Innovative Companies Of 2017". Fast Company. February 13, 2017. Retrieved February 11, 2017. 
  7. ^ Fleming, Michael (March 6, 2008). "Meledandri, Universal team on deals". Retrieved July 10, 2016. 
  8. ^ Fleming, Mike (November 14, 2011). "Universal Pictures Buys Paris Animation Unit For Chris Meledandri's Illumination". Deadline. Retrieved November 15, 2011. 
  9. ^ "ILLUMINATION MAC GUFF (PARIS 15) Chiffre d'affaires, résultat, bilans sur SOCIETE.COM - 533478434". www.societe.com. Retrieved July 10, 2016. 
  10. ^ Keslassy, Elsa (December 12, 2011). "Universal benefit in Mac Guff accord". Variety. Retrieved December 17, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Comcast's NBCUniversal buys DreamWorks Animation in $3.8-billion deal". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 28, 2016. 
  12. ^ "NBCUniversal Unveils New DreamWorks Annimation Senior Management". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 3, 2016. 
  13. ^ McNary, Dave (August 22, 2016). "Comcast Completes $3.8 Billion Purchase of DreamWorks Animation". Variety. Retrieved October 27, 2016. 
  14. ^ a b c Barnes, Brooks (April 3, 2011). "For Illumination Entertainment, Animation Meets Economic Reality". The New York Times. Retrieved June 15, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Despicable Me 2 (2013)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 17, 2014. 
  16. ^ Szalai, Georg (July 31, 2013). "NBCUniversal CEO: 'Despicable Me 2' Will Be Most Profitable Film in Universal's History". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 31, 2013. 
  17. ^ Fleming, Mike (February 11, 2013). "Sandra Bullock To Voice Super-Villain In 'Minions' Spinoff For Illumination/Universal". Deadline. Retrieved February 12, 2013. 
  18. ^ Shaw, Lucas (February 12, 2013). "Universal Dates Mystery Illumination Movie for 2015". The Wrap. Retrieved February 15, 2013. 
  19. ^ a b "'Despicable Me 3′ Set For June 2017 Release; 'Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas' Arrives Five Months Later". Deadline. January 15, 2014. Retrieved January 16, 2014. 
  20. ^ https://variety.com/2015/film/news/illumination-movie-release-dates-universal-1201617998/
  21. ^ a b Yee, Lawrence (February 2, 2017). "Illumination, Universal Add Four More Animated Films to Slate". Variety. Retrieved February 2, 2017. 
  22. ^ Vary, Adam B. (May 19, 2011). "Universal Parks announces new 'Despicable Me' ride, and a major face-lift for 'Spider-Man'". EW.com. Retrieved June 15, 2011. 
  23. ^ a b Pallotta, Frank (November 14, 2017). "'Super Mario Bros.' animated movie in the works at Illumination Entertainment". CNNMoney. Retrieved November 14, 2017. 
  24. ^ "'Super Mario Bros.' Movie in the Works at Illumination Entertainment". Collider. 14 November 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2017. 
  25. ^ "Super Mario Movie in the Works From Despicable Me Studio". Slashfilm. 14 November 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2017. 
  26. ^ America, Nintendo of (2018-01-31). "Nintendo and Illumination are partnering on a movie starring Mario, co-produced by Shigeru Miyamoto and Chris Meledandri!pic.twitter.com/wVRPLIzcGJ". @nintendoamerica. Retrieved 2018-02-01. 
  27. ^ "Universal Dates 'Despicable Me 3,' New 'Grinch Who Stole Christmas'". The Hollywood Reporter. November 17, 2011. Retrieved January 16, 2014. 
  28. ^ Kroll, Justin (October 8, 2013). "Universal, Illumination to reboot 'The Grinch'". Variety. Retrieved February 7, 2013. 
  29. ^ Robinson, Will (June 7, 2016). "Benedict Cumberbatch's How The Grinch Stole Christmas delayed". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 7, 2016. 
  30. ^ a b c Kroll, Justin (January 25, 2017). "'Sing 2' Set for Christmas Day 2020 Release". Variety. Retrieved January 26, 2017. 
  31. ^ a b McNary, Dave (October 14, 2015). "Three Untitled Illumination Movies Get Dates Through 2020". Variety. Retrieved October 15, 2015. 
  32. ^ Byung-yeul, Baek (May 19, 2015). "'Despicable Me' founder shares secret of success". The Korea Times. Retrieved May 24, 2015. 
  33. ^ Fleming Jr., Mike (July 9, 2015). "'Minions' Maker Illumination Forges Pact With South Korean Animator Kyungmin Woo, Options His Short 'Johnny Express' For Feature". Deadline. Retrieved July 10, 2015. 
  34. ^ Sakoui, Anousha; Palmeri, Christopher (September 12, 2017). "In Dismal Summer, 'Despicable Me 3' Producer Delivers $1 Billion". Bloomberg. Retrieved September 28, 2017. 
  35. ^ "Brad & Gary". Seattle International Film Festival. Archived from the original on February 22, 2013. Retrieved February 3, 2013. 
  36. ^ "Brad & Gary". IMDb. Retrieved February 3, 2013. 
  37. ^ King, Susan (February 2, 2013). "40th Annie Award nominees and winners list". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 3, 2013. 
  38. ^ "Critics' Choice Awards 2018: Complete List of Movie and TV Nominations". E Newes. December 6, 2017. Retrieved December 6, 2017. 

External linksEdit