Illumination-Universal’s “Despicable Me 3” has opened in China with an impressive $20.1 million on its first day — the best opening for an animated movie ever in the country.
The figure is 17.5% above the opening of Illumination’s “Minions,” which set the record two years ago. It’s also the sixth-biggest debut day of the year.
“Despicable Me 3” had already hauled $286.8 million worldwide through Thursday with the international take hitting $171.6 million and the domestic total at $115.2 million.
“Despicable Me 3” is directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda, and co-directed by Eric Guillon. The film stars Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, and Trey Parker. The pic follows Carell’s Gru, who discovers that he has a twin brother named Dru, while the Minions are jailed.
The 2015 “Minions” spinoff was a massive success, earning $336 million domestically and $823 million internationally, including $68 million in China. “Minions” is the top Illumination performer worldwide with $1.16 billion, followed by 2013’s “Despicable Me 2” with $975.8 million, 2016’s “The Secret Life of Pets” with $875.5 million, and 2016’s “Sing” with $633 million.
“Despicable Me 3” has set records as the biggest animated movie opening weekend of all time in Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Middle East, Netherlands, Ukraine, and Venezuela. In addition to China, it’s opening in France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Trinidad, and Iceland this week.