Box Office Report

‘Despicable Me’ Is Now The Top-Grossing Animated Feature Franchise Of All-Time

Bow to your new cartoon overlords: Gru and his minions have become the top-grossing animation franchise of all-time.

With this weekend’s global box office of $26.5 million, Despicable Me 3 reached $879.5 million. Combined that amount with the grosses of the three prior films in the series – DM 1 & 2 along with Minions – and the Illumination franchise has grossed a record $3.55 billion globally. The previous record-holder, Shrek, had accumulated $3.51 billion over 5 films (including the Puss in Boots spinoff).

Here are the top 10 global cartoon franchises of all-time, all from American companies, of course.

  1. Despicable Me (4 films): $3.55 billion
  2. Shrek (5 films): $3.51 billion
  3. Ice Age (5 films): $3.21 billion
  4. Madagascar (4 films): $2.25 billion
  5. Toy Story (3 films): $1.97 billion
  6. Finding Nemo (2 films): $1.96 billion
  7. Kung Fu Panda (3 films): $1.81 billion
  8. Cars (5 films, includes Planes): $1.70 billion
  9. Monsters, Inc. (2): $1.32 billion
  10. How to Train Your Dragon (2): $1.11 billion

Despicable Me’s record likely won’t be broken anytime soon either, since the sequel to Minions is due out in 2020. The first Minions grossed $1.16 billion, the second-highest amount ever for an animated feature.

As for Despicable Me 3, which is still in theaters, the film surpassed Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 this weekend to become the third-highest grossing global release of 2017, behind only Beauty and the Beast and The Fate of the Furious. Its $879.5M total also edged past the $877.2M total for Ice Age: Continental Drift, putting DM3 at number 10 all-time for a full-length animated film.