Who needs China?
"Despicable Me 2" was recently denied a release in the People's Republic, but even without an opening in the world's second largest movie market, the animated hit will be the most profitable film in the more than 100 year history of Universal Studios.
NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke told investors and analysts on Wednesday that the success of the film helped validate the studio's decision to keep focusing on building film franchises, a process he acknowledged has had "ups and downs."
However, "Despicable Me 2" certainly belongs in the "ups" column. The film was produced for an economical $76 million and has grossed more than $663.6 million worldwide so far. It is the year's highest-grossing animated feature.
In comparison, other animated films this summer such as "Turbo" and "Epic" carried budgets of $100 million or more. Disney did not provide a production budget for "Monsters University," the year's second biggest animated hit, but its predecessor "Monsters, Inc." cost $115 million to make nearly a decade ago.
"Turbo" has so far grossed less than $100 million worldwide, "Epic" has made $243.3 million worldwide and "Monsters University" has netted $577.5 million around the globe.
Look for more Gru in the future, because with those kind of results, "Despicable Me 3" must be on the horizon.