Universal, Illumination Book 5 Straight July 4 Weekends Through 2023

Studio announces release of four animated films including three on the Friday before Independence Day

Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment has booked five straight July 4th weekends through 2023.

From 2019 to 2023, the two companies will release a film on the weekend before Independence Day. In 2019, an untitled film will be released on July 3; In 2020, “Minions 2” will hit theaters on July 3; In 2021, Universal dated a film on July 2, and for 2022, Universal slated a movie for July 1. An untitled Illumination film will also be released on June 30, 2023.

Illumination Entertainment was founded by Chris Meledandri in 2007 and has produced films in the “Despicable Me” franchise as well as the hit “Minions,” which has grossed $1.16 billion worldwide, making it the second highest-grossing animated film of all time.

Other films include “The Secret Life of Pets” and the most recent animated flick, “Sing,” featuring the voices of Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon. The former is the 12th highest-grossing animated film ever and had the largest opening ever for an original film, animated or otherwise. “Sing 2” is set for a release in 2020.

Universal and Illumination will also release the upcoming “Despicable Me 3,” starring Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig and Trey Parker, this coming June.

The Friday before 2o18’s Independence Day weekend marks the opening of “Barbie” and an untitled Fox/Marvel project, while “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” will open on July 6, 2018.