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‘Despicable Me 3’ Passes $1 Billion at Global Box Office

The hit series became the highest-grossing animated franchise earlier this summer

As terrible as the summer box office season has been, it has finally produced a billion-dollar film: “Despicable Me 3.”

The latest installment of Illumination’s marquee animated franchise on Thursday joined “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Fate of the Furious” as the third film of 2017 to gross $1 billion worldwide, giving Universal two billion-dollar hits this year.

Like “Fate of the Furious” — and unlike “Beauty and the Beast” — “Despicable Me 3” got to this point largely off the international box office. Domestically, “DM3” performed well, making $259 million since its release at the end of June. But other recent Illumination films have beaten that amount, including “Sing” ($270 million), “Minions” ($336 million), “Despicable Me 2,” and “The Secret Life of Pets” (each with $368 million).

But on the international side, “DM3” is now the second-highest grossing Illumination film, currently standing at $739 million and second only to the $823 million made by “Minions” two years ago. All this has been done on a fraction of the budget the other two billion-dollar films had, with “DM3” sporting an $80 million price tag compared to $160 million for “Beauty” and $250 million for “Furious.”

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Combined, the four “Despicable Me” films have grossed over $1.2 billion domestically and over $3.6 billion worldwide, making them the highest grossing animated franchise of all-time and the only series with three installments that have grossed over $900 million worldwide.

Next on the Illumination release slate is an adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ “How The Grinch Stole Christmas,” which will be released on November 9, 2018. After that, sequels for “Minions,” “Sing,” and “Secret Life of Pets” are scheduled to roll out in 2019 and 2020.