Illumination CEO Chris Meledandri Named CinemaCon Producer of the Year

“Despicable Me,” “Minions” creator will be honored at Las Vegas exhibitor convention

Chris Meledandri CinemaCon Award

Illumination Founder and CEO Chris Meledandri is CinemaCon’s Producer of the Year.

The annual convention of the National Association of Theater Owners will honor the “Minions” mastermind at the end of March, CinemaCon Managing Director Mitch Neuhauser announced this week.

Illumination, which is set up at Universal Pictures for financing and distribution, is the creator of the Kristen Wiig-Steve Carrell franchise “Despicable Me” franchise, whose third installment releases this summer.

“Chris and his team at Illumination have brought to life some of the most creative and whimsical worlds for audiences of all ages,” Neuhauser said.

Meledandri will take the prize at a March 30 ceremony in Las Vegas, at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace.

Illumination franchises include two of the top-six animated films of all time and its films, which include 2016 hits “Sing” and “The Secret Life of Pets,” have grossed more than $4.5 billion worldwide. Upcoming releases include “Dr. Seuss‘ How The Grinch Stole Christmas,” “The Secret Life of Pets 2,” “Sing 2” and “Minions 2”.

Meledandri also handles Illumination’s footprint in mobile games, consumer products and digital media. “Despicable Me: Minion Rush” has become the fifth-most popular game ever, while Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem, at Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood, soon opens at several global locations.