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“Despicable Me” will cross $500 million

hollywoodnews.com: “Despicable Me” will cross $500 million at the worldwide box office, Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment announced today.

With a current domestic gross of more than $248 million, the inaugural 3D CGI feature from Universal and Illumination is second only to Toy Story 3 in domestic gross among animated films this year. “Despicable Me” is the sixth biggest domestic release of 2010 and the 10th most successful animated film of all time in domestic gross. In addition, it has become the sixth most successful film that Universal Pictures has ever distributed domestically.

“Despicable Me’s” impressive success has continued as it has rolled out across the globe. The film, currently at more than $247 million overseas, has become Universal’s top-grossing film internationally of 2010. In reaching the half-billion-dollar milestone, Despicable Me becomes not only the studio’s biggest animated film of all time but is well on its way to becoming Universal’s fifth highest-grossing film ever distributed worldwide. The 3-D CGI feature has yet to open in several territories, including China.

“We couldn’t be more impressed with the movie or with the global Universal and Illumination team that has made it a certifiable blockbuster,” said Adam Fogelson, Chairman of Universal Pictures, and Donna Langley, Co-Chairman of Universal, in a joint statement. “This was a mammoth effort from every division of the company, and their work resulted in the film’s brilliant success. To know that the first project from Chris’ production company has blossomed into an enormous, franchise-launching enterprise is inspiring. We look forward to a long partnership with Illumination.”

“In forming Illumination my goal was to produce movies that not only played to audiences of all ages but also played across all cultures,” said Founder and President of Illumination Entertainment Chris Meledandri. “Despicable Me’s” achievement of this goal is a tribute to my directors Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud, writers Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul and my fellow producers Janet Healy and John Cohen. In Universal I have found truly like-minded partners whose contribution to the film and its success was nothing short of extraordinary.”

Complementing the movie’s financial success, RottenTomatoes.com, a premiere entertainment portal for moviegoers and critics alike, has ranked the film at 87 percent approval from its top film critics on its Tomatometer.

“Despicable Me” arrives on Blu-ray and DVD on December 14, 2010. www.despicable.me

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