‘Minions 3’ Set for 2027 as ‘Despicable Me’ Franchise Nears $5 Billion at Box Office

After “Despicable Me 4” topped the July 4 holiday with a $230 million debut at the global box office, Universal and Illumination have announced “Minions 3” as the next chapter in the hit animated franchise.

The band of mischievous yellow minions will be headed back to theaters on June 30, 2027, for a film written by Brian Lynch (“Minions,” “The Secret Life of Pets” films) and directed by Academy Award-nominee Pierre Coffin (a director of the first three “Despicable Me” films and the first “Minions” movie). Coffin has also provided the voice for the Minions since their film debut in 2010’s “Despicable Me.”

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The film will be produced by Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri and Bill Ryan (“The Super Mario Bros. Movie”).

Since its launch in 2010, the “Despicable Me” and “Minions” movies have become the biggest global animated franchise in history, with the films collectively grossing nearly $5 billion. 2022’s “Minions: The Rise of Gru” topped the global box office in its opening weekend and shattered records for the July 4 holiday with a $125 million domestic haul. “Despicable Me 4” tallied just shy of that number, with an impressive $122.6 million domestic debut, and is expected to top the charts again in its second week of release, earning more than $30 million.

In a piece analyzing the summer box office and the state of animation, Variety chief film critic Peter Debruge wrote that “the weekend that once belonged to Will Smith — and which hosted a geriatric Indiana Jones’ return last year — has long been the domain of “Despicable Me” movies.”

For seven of the last 14 years, he noted, Illumination Entertainment has planted one of its toon tentpoles (which also includes “The Secret Life of Pets,” another hit franchise in its $10 billion-grossing library of titles) on or immediately after Independence Day weekend — a strategic move that seems to be working. (“Despicable Me 2” and “Despicable Me 3” each made more than $1 billion at the global box office.)

“Less than a year after dual writers’ and actors’ strikes shut down Hollywood, kid-friendly cartoons are propping up the theatrical box office in a big way,” he concluded, also pointing to the billion-dollar-grossing “Inside Out 2” as proof of animation’s domination at the multiplex.

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