Christopher Meledandri
Andrew H. Walker for Variety
United States
2022

Illumination

Christopher
Meledandri

CEO

After a two-year delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Meledandri was finally able to release the animated prequel “Minions: The Rise of Gru” to theaters in July 2022. It performed well with critics and audiences alike, bringing in close to $950 million worldwide. That brought the box-office tally for the five-film franchise — which began with “Despicable Me” in 2010 — to $4.5 billion. Meledandri spent just $374 million to make all five films, meaning they earned 12 times their production budgets and made the animated film franchise the most profitable of all time. “Despicable Me 4,” is planned for 2024. Next up for Illumination is the animated adaptation of the video game “Super Mario Bros.,” directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic and voiced by, among others, Chris Pratt, Charlie Day, Anya Taylor-Joy and Seth Rogen, due for release in April 2023.  

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
  • 2021 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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