You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Chris Meledandri: Animated hit launches Illumination

Comedy Impact Report 2010: Animation Sensations

When Chris Meledandri exited 20th Century Fox Animation two years ago to create Illumination Entertainment, the move was viewed by industryites as a huge loss for the Century City brass.

And that was before Meledandri far exceeded even the most optimistic expectations with Illumination’s debut pic, “Despicable Me,” which has earned $507 million worldwide. The animated tale that centers on underachiever supervillain Gru instantly gave Illumination a seat at the table of elite toon houses.

“I am more proud of this film than anything else I’ve been involved with,” says Meledandri, who brought Fox’s lucrative “Ice Age” to the bigscreen. “I never expect a movie to be this successful. I tend to protect myself against disappointment, and I kind of go in with lowered expectations.”

Steve Carell, who starred as the voice of Gru, says that Meledandri’s sense of humor is secondary to a great sense of story and character.

“I don’t think he set out to make a funny or cute animated movie,” says Carell, who is eyeing a second “Despicable” outing. “He wanted to tell a story, and I think that’s where the success of that movie really lies. He took great pains to create characters and a plot that was ridiculous and somewhat grounded at the same time.”

More Film

  • Get Hard

    Writer Claims 'Get Hard' Ripped Off His 'Prison 101' Idea

    When Chris Meledandri exited 20th Century Fox Animation two years ago to create Illumination Entertainment, the move was viewed by industryites as a huge loss for the Century City brass. And that was before Meledandri far exceeded even the most optimistic expectations with Illumination’s debut pic, “Despicable Me,” which has earned $507 million worldwide. The […]

  • Charles Rivkin

    CineAsia: Charles Rivkin Looks to Asia as Locomotive for Theatrical Cinema

    When Chris Meledandri exited 20th Century Fox Animation two years ago to create Illumination Entertainment, the move was viewed by industryites as a huge loss for the Century City brass. And that was before Meledandri far exceeded even the most optimistic expectations with Illumination’s debut pic, “Despicable Me,” which has earned $507 million worldwide. The […]

  • Tax Plan Strikes Fear Among Below

    Hollywood's Below-the-Line Workers Anxious About New Tax Plans

    When Chris Meledandri exited 20th Century Fox Animation two years ago to create Illumination Entertainment, the move was viewed by industryites as a huge loss for the Century City brass. And that was before Meledandri far exceeded even the most optimistic expectations with Illumination’s debut pic, “Despicable Me,” which has earned $507 million worldwide. The […]

  • Detective Pikachu

    Film News Roundup: Live-Action 'Detective Pikachu' Gets 2019 Release

    When Chris Meledandri exited 20th Century Fox Animation two years ago to create Illumination Entertainment, the move was viewed by industryites as a huge loss for the Century City brass. And that was before Meledandri far exceeded even the most optimistic expectations with Illumination’s debut pic, “Despicable Me,” which has earned $507 million worldwide. The […]

  • Movie Chain AMC Exploring Investment in

    Movie Chain AMC Exploring Investment in Saudi Arabia

    When Chris Meledandri exited 20th Century Fox Animation two years ago to create Illumination Entertainment, the move was viewed by industryites as a huge loss for the Century City brass. And that was before Meledandri far exceeded even the most optimistic expectations with Illumination’s debut pic, “Despicable Me,” which has earned $507 million worldwide. The […]

  • SPENCER LOCKE as Melissa Rainier in

    CineAsia: Sony Applies Haptic Technology to 'Insidious: The Last Key' (EXCLUSIVE)

    When Chris Meledandri exited 20th Century Fox Animation two years ago to create Illumination Entertainment, the move was viewed by industryites as a huge loss for the Century City brass. And that was before Meledandri far exceeded even the most optimistic expectations with Illumination’s debut pic, “Despicable Me,” which has earned $507 million worldwide. The […]

  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Rockets to Dominant Social Media Buzz

    When Chris Meledandri exited 20th Century Fox Animation two years ago to create Illumination Entertainment, the move was viewed by industryites as a huge loss for the Century City brass. And that was before Meledandri far exceeded even the most optimistic expectations with Illumination’s debut pic, “Despicable Me,” which has earned $507 million worldwide. The […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content