Illumination (animation company)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Illumination
Formerly
Illumination Entertainment (2007–2017)
Division
IndustryAnimation
Motion pictures
PredecessorChris Meledandri Productions
Founded2007; 11 years ago (2007)
FounderChris Meledandri
HeadquartersSanta Monica, California, U.S.
Key people
Chris Meledandri (CEO)[1]
Peter Schube (COO)[2]
ProductsAnimated films
Number of employees
100 (2016)[3]
ParentUniversal Pictures
(NBCUniversal)
SubsidiariesIllumination Mac Guff
WebsiteOfficial website

Illumination, known until 2017 as Illumination Entertainment, is an American film and animation studio founded by Chris Meledandri in 2007 and owned by Universal Pictures,[4][5][6] a division of NBCUniversal, which is itself a division of Comcast. Meledandri produces the movies while Universal finances and distributes all the films.[5] 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), $1.034 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 third all-time highest.

History[edit]

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 Entertainment. By 2008, a deal was announced positioning Illumination Entertainment 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]

Process[edit]

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]

Creative team[edit]

Unlike Disney's Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar, and Warner Bros' Warner Animation Group, Illumination doesn't rely on the "brain trust" or "filmmaker-driven studio" in which all directors, writers, and lead storyboard artists at the studio look at each other's projects on a regular basis and give each other very candid "notes" (the industry term for constructive criticism). Instead for its creative team, Illumination often uses the same core of creators. Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2 were directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud; Coffin went on to direct Minions and Despicable Me 3 respectively, while Renaud directed The Lorax and The Secret Life of Pets, respectively.[15][16] Screenwriters Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio wrote Illumination's first four films (Despicable Me, Hop, The Lorax, Despicable Me 2) as well as The Secret Life of Pets and Despicable Me 3.[17] Brian Lynch has written Hop, Minions, and The Secret Life of Pets.[18]

Projects[edit]

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,[19] becoming the second highest-grossing 2013 animated film and breaking a record as the most profitable Universal Studios film in its 100-year history.[20] The spin-off to Despicable Me, titled Minions, was released on July 10, 2015,[21] and has grossed over $1 billion worldwide.

The Secret Life of Pets was released on July 8, 2016.[22] 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.[23] 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, was released on November 9, 2018, and is directed by Peter Candeland and Yarrow Cheney from an adaptation by Michael LeSieur.[23]

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.[24] The ride officially opened on July 2, 2012 in Orlando, Hollywood on April 12, 2014, and Osaka on April 21, 2017.

Upcoming projects[edit]

Other future projects are The Secret Life of Pets 2, Minions 2, and Sing 2.[25] 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.[26] Other films in development include Despicable Me 4, and an animated film based on the Mario franchise with a co-production with Nintendo. In January 2018, then-Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima stated that, if plans go smoothly, a Mario movie could happen by 2020.[27][28][29] 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.[30] On November 6, 2018, Illumination announced that the Mario film could be released by 2022.[31] Also, Illumination is working with musician Pharrell Williams on an original animated film that will be "made from scratch".[31]

Filmography[edit]

Feature films[edit]

Released films[edit]

# 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 53% 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 73% 61
7 Sing December 21, 2016 $632.2 million 72% 59
8 Despicable Me 3 June 30, 2017 $80 million $1.034 billion 59% 49
9 Dr. Seuss' The Grinch November 9, 2018 $75 million $151.7 million 57% 50
S Combines live-action with animation.

Upcoming films[edit]

# Title Release date Ref(s)
10 The Secret Life of Pets 2 June 7, 2019 [32]
11 Minions 2 July 3, 2020 [33][32]
12 Sing 2 December 25, 2020 [33][32]
13 Untitled films July 2, 2021 [26]
14 July 1, 2022
15 December 21, 2022
16 Untitled animated Mario film 2022 [27][31]
17 Untitled film June 30, 2023 [26]

Films in development[edit]

Title Ref(s)
Despicable Me 4 [34]
Untitled Pharrell Williams film [31]

Short films[edit]

# 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
23 Yellow is the New Black November 9, 2018

Franchises[edit]

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

Accolades[edit]

Academy Awards[edit]

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 Awards[edit]

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 Awards[edit]

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 Awards[edit]

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 Awards[edit]

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 Awards[edit]

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 Award[edit]

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 also[edit]

References[edit]

  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. ^ 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.
  4. ^ Debruge, Peter (July 17, 2013). "Illumination Chief Chris Meledandri Lines Up Originals for Universal". Variety. Retrieved September 13, 2013.
  5. ^ a b Kilday, Gregg (December 9, 2016). "Illumination's Chris Meledandri Talks Success Secrets, Rumors He'll Head DreamWorks". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
  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. ^ "Chris Renaud". IMDb. Retrieved 2018-08-10.
  16. ^ "Pierre Coffin". IMDb. Retrieved 2018-08-10.
  17. ^ "Ken Daurio". IMDb. Retrieved 2018-08-10.
  18. ^ "Brian Lynch". IMDb. Retrieved 2018-08-10.
  19. ^ "Despicable Me 2 (2013)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
  20. ^ 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.
  21. ^ Fleming, Mike (February 11, 2013). "Sandra Bullock To Voice Super-Villain In 'Minions' Spinoff For Illumination/Universal". Deadline. Retrieved February 12, 2013.
  22. ^ Shaw, Lucas (February 12, 2013). "Universal Dates Mystery Illumination Movie for 2015". The Wrap. Retrieved February 15, 2013.
  23. ^ 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.
  24. ^ 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.
  25. ^ https://variety.com/2015/film/news/illumination-movie-release-dates-universal-1201617998/
  26. ^ a b c Yee, Lawrence (February 2, 2017). "Illumination, Universal Add Four More Animated Films to Slate". Variety. Retrieved February 2, 2017.
  27. ^ a b Pallotta, Frank (November 14, 2017). "'Super Mario Bros.' animated movie in the works at Illumination Entertainment". CNNMoney. Retrieved November 14, 2017.
  28. ^ "'Super Mario Bros.' Movie in the Works at Illumination Entertainment". Collider. 14 November 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  29. ^ "Super Mario Movie in the Works From Despicable Me Studio". Slashfilm. 14 November 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  30. ^ 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.
  31. ^ a b c d Lang, Brent (6 November 2018). "Inside Illumination's Plans for Animated 'Super Mario Bros.' Movie". Variety. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  32. ^ a b c Kroll, Justin (January 25, 2017). "'Sing 2' Set for Christmas Day 2020 Release". Variety. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  33. ^ a b McNary, Dave (October 14, 2015). "Three Untitled Illumination Movies Get Dates Through 2020". Variety. Retrieved October 15, 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 links[edit]