Despicable Me 2 is making headlines again at the box office. The film, retitled Super Thief Nanny 2, opened in China this weekend with $15.37 million. It’s the biggest opening for an animated feature in China since Ice Age 4 in 2012. The Chinese government did not allow the film to be released in 2013 for reasons that were not disclosed, but presumably due to an overload of American films since the Chinese government only allows 34 imported films to be shown in theaters each year.
Universal knew that many people had already seen a bootleg copy of the film in a country where animation viewership is rapidly expanding, so they created a “proper, great Mandarin dub with local voices that [Chinese audiences] know,” Universal Pictures International president David Kosse told Deadline. They also streamed the original Despicable Me online for free.
The Universal hit has now grossed $936.7M globally. It will surpass Finding Nemo this week to become the third-highest grossing animated feature of all-time, behind just Toy Story 3 and The Lion King.