Christopher Meledandri
Andrew H. Walker for Variety
United States
2021

Illumination

Christopher
Meledandri

CEO

Meledandri has enjoyed big success with Illumination’s “Despicable Me” movies, which have raked in $3.7 billion at theaters around the world since 2010, making it the highest-grossing animated franchise of all time. It spawned “Minions Rush” (2013), which in 2021 became the first mobile game based on a movie to surpass to 1 billion downloads on iOS. But lately the pandemic has been throwing a wrench into his plans for the studio (a division of Universal). Originally set for release in July 2020, “Minions: The Rise of Gru” got pushed back a year when the world went into lockdown, then was pushed back another year to July 2022. The other big movie on his slate, “Sing 2,” had its release pushed back twice, eventually moving to a slot in December 2021.

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
  • 2020 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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