Christopher Meledandri
Andrew H. Walker for Variety
United States
2020

Illumination

Christopher
Meledandri

CEO

Like everyone else with a tentpole movie in the pipeline, Meledandri was hit hard by the pandemic shutdown, which forced him to indefinitely postpone the theatrical release of “Minions: The Rise of Gru” to July 2021 instead of its planned July date in 2020. It also brought the temporary closure of the studio’s Mac Guff visual effects studio in Paris. Meledandri launched Illumination in 2007 and partnered with Universal to finance and release its films. Since then, the animation studio has largely gone from success to success, with its first 10 films (including three “Despicable Me” entries and the “Minions” spin­off), all made for well under $100 million, grossing an average of $695 million per film. Illumination’s current slate includes “Sing 2” (2021) and an untitled “Super Mario Bros.” movie (2022).

Career

  • DESPICABLE ME
  • THE GRINCH
  • THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS

Education

  • Dartmouth College (NH, USA)

Variety Honors

  • 2017 Variety500 Honoree
  • 2018 Variety500 Honoree
  • 2019 Variety500 Honoree
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News from Variety

Benedict Cumberbatch to Voice the Grinch in 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas'

Benedict Cumberbatch to Voice the Grinch in 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas'

Benedict Cumberbatch is moving from "Doctor Strange" to Dr. Seuss.The actor has been tapped to voice the Grinch in Illumination's new retelling of the classic Dr. Seuss children's book "The Grinch That Stole Christmas."Illumination has also set Trey Parker to play the villain Balthazar Bratt, a former child star who’s grown up to become obsessed with the character he played in the ’80s in "Despicable Me 3." The announcement was made at Universal's CinemaCon presentation Wednesday with Illumination chairman Christopher...

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