So it appears that another long-form cartoon might dethrone Pixar's latest offering.
... Illumination Entertainment’s “Despicable 3” opens June 30; ... early estimates suggest it’s the Minions that will rule the world. And if that’s the case, Universal could become the most successful animation distributor in domestic box office.
Disney still holds sway on a global basis; over the last five years, Disney-distributed animation has grossed just over $5 billion to Universal’s $3.35 billion. However, as a producer Illumination’s box office is bigger than either Disney or Pixar, domestic and foreign, and with this latest round it could become more successful than both entities combined at the domestic box office. ...
Chris Meledandri started in live-action at Disney, working at Dawn Steel's company. He moved on to Fox Animation, where he oversaw multiple failures from Fox's Phoenix studio before hitting his stride at Blue Sky Animation and then his own company, Illumination Entertainment.
Meledandri was the first animation producer who oversaw a successful animated feature that was created overseas. Prior to Meledandri, a succession of studios had offshored feature animation and fallen on their corporate faces. Even so, Illumination isn't using a low-rent studio in a Third World nation, but making its movies in Paris, France. Though the company receives Free Money from the French government, the IE pictures are not inexpensive. They're just less expensive than much of the competition.
And while the grosses of the Despicable Me series have gone continually up, the three Cars epics have done the reverse.
H/t to Justin Hunt.