“Despicable Me 2″ Dominates the Global Box Office

For the third week in a row, an animated film has taken the crown at the U.S. box office. This week, the winner is Illumination Entertainment and Universal’s Despicable Me 2. The Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud-directed film scored $83.5 million over the weekend, and since its debut last Wednesday has earned a massive $143.1 million. The film’s three-day opening was nearly identical to the opening of Disney/Pixar’s Monsters University, however, Despicable Me cost a reported $76 million to produce, whereas the Pixar film cost closer to $200 million. Overseas weekend gross on Despicable Me 2 was $88.8 million. Box Office Mojo reports that the film has already made over $150 million overseas, and Deadline Hollywood says the film opened in first place in 35 of its 38 new markets and set the following records:

Territory highlights/records: biggest opening ever for an animated film in Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa, Trinidad and Vietnam; highest opening day ever for all films in South Africa; Universal’s biggest opening day ever in Brazil, Hungary, Mexico and South Africa; third biggest opening day ever in Mexico just behind Iron Man 3 and The Avengers.

The biggest story here is that Despicable Me 2 is performing as well as any Pixar/DreamWorks CG tentpole on a fraction of the budget. The other studios throw money at their films, but the producers of Despicable Me 2 focused on delivering the best entertainment bang for the buck.

With the new competition in the kiddie film market, Monsters University took an expected hit in its third weekend, dropping 56.8% for a take of $19.7M. The film, which landed in fourth place, has grossed a solid $216.3 in the United States. Combine that with $184.4M overseas, and it has now crossed the $400M mark worldwide.


  • Dirty Laundry Day

    Good for them…
    aside from teaching animation principles, art schools aught to teach their students some solid French..just so to maintain a decent livelihood after graduation.

  • Alex Dudley

    The TAG Blog brought up the whole “cheaper budget” thing as well. What will happen if Dreamworks’ Turbo bombs at the box office? Will more work get done overseas? Will other studios do the same as well?

  • Alex Irish

    You forgot the biggest story which is that The Last Ranger is a colossal bomb, and thus will never get a crappy Hollywood sequel

    • Roberto Severino

      Yeah. Heard that film (The Lone Ranger) got hit really hard on Rotten Tomatoes, at least from the critics. It has a 25% right now from them. It’s doing better with the general audience. It currently has a 6.8/10 on IMDB and close to 70% of the audience on Rotten Tomatoes liked it. I’m not even sure if I’m going to even rent the movie when it comes.

  • kd

    Great for illumination, I hope that other places don’t try to copy the minion phenomenon and just create awesome memorable characters, the advertising was entirely about them. Yellow is a very powerful color because the smurfs 2 is trying to create the same effect but the blue doesn’t create the same feeling as yellow.

  • Blues

    “The biggest story here is that Despicable Me 2 is performing as well as any Pixar/DreamWorks CG tentpole on a fraction of the budget. The other studios throw money at their films, but the producers of Despicable Me 2 focused on delivering the best entertainment bang for the buck.”

    I’m not sure how much the production company is handled in Europe, but most of the boarding work for this movie was done via freelance. They don’t have to pay to keep artists in-house, which contributes to why these movies are so cheap to make. More bang for their buck indeed.

  • iamsam

    I never understood how Pixar was able to make Toy Story 1 for 30 million dollars and then Toy Story 2 90 mill Toystory 3 150 mil. I think they went big Hollywood and started throwing money at stuff and wasting now that they got a budget.

    • Jay

      Because Pixar pays their artists good money… and I wouldnt be too sure about the other companies…

    • SarahJesness

      Pixar always goes all-out in the animation quality. Plus, Pixar can easily afford that kind of thing. People love Pixar and anything with the studio’s name on it is guaranteed to make money.

    • James EdWard Kennedy JR.

      It’s not that they are throwing money. At the heart of Pixar they are a technical company. Coming up with advancements in the field costs( attend SIGGRAPH and you’ll understand where the money is going). It’s easy to storyboard out some well written ideas but, to bring innovation to the industry it costs. There’s a reason why students and studios us PIXAR Renderman and not just Maya.

    • Jason

      Because in Toy Story the humans look more plastic than the toys, and in Toy Story 3, it’s photorealistic. In my opinion, Toy Story 2 has the perfect blend of cartoony-ness and realism.

  • George Comerci

    Alright! I’m happy for illumination. this film was easily the best ive seen all summer!! a worthy sequel :)

  • Moonie

    …Well, that explains why Lucy never got frosting on her hands during that cupcake sequence.

  • Aaron B.

    We also can’t forget that since Pixar is owned by Disney, we have to add anywhere between $100 and $150 million or more in cross-platform marketing and product placement. Universal no doubt pledged tens of millions of dollars toward marketing as well (you see all the insurance commercials?)… but Disney’s deeper pockets should certainly be considered in this regard.

  • JoelCave

    Enjoyed Despicable Me 2 more than MU. Monsters University just felt constrained and unimaginative, and DM2 had a lot more space to explore and be silly. Some of the jokes were blah, and the minion sequences were pandering, but the kids I watched this with all enjoyed DM2 far more compared to MU.

    • Chris

      Of course the freaking kids you watched this with enjoyed DM2 more. DM1 came out in 2010 while MInc came out in 2001. MU is way better than DM2 which has a pointless storyline. Of course kids don’t know that they’re too young to know about Monsters. The crowd of kids that loved Monsters Inc are now 18-25