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CEO Steve Burke says Despicable Me 2 will be Most Profitable Film in Universal’s History

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Despicable-Me-2-PosterIn a conference call with analysts on Q2’s earnings yesterday, NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke revealed that Despicable Me 2 will become the most profitable film in the century-long history of the studio.

The animated sequel is currently batting north of $660m. at the global box office, from a $76m. budget, reaching even higher heights than its original, which took $543m. back in 2010.

The second instalment in the relatively new franchise “is going to end up being the single most profitable film in the 100 year history of Universal Studios,” adding that, “We love Illumination.”

The animation house partnered with the studio back in 2008, announcing then that the production company would be making one or two family-friendly films a year, beginning in 2010. Hop followed a year later, with Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax breaking records with its release back in March 2012.

And now Despicable Me 2 has gone that much further, impressive audiences and critics alike, still going strong at the box office. Needless to say, all eyes will very soon be turning to the Minions spin-off that is set to land in December 2014.

During the same conference call, Burke also praised the recent deal that Universal have made with Legendary Pictures, who parted ways with long-time partners Warner Bros.

Burke noted that the deal gives the studio “a very coherent strategy,” adding, “It is a very important element of our strategy.”

The plan is for Illumination to cover the studio’s animation arm, as it has clearly been doing very well for the past few years. Legendary will provide the focus on what Burke describes as the “riskiest” and hardest part of the industry – namely, that of the tentpole fanboy releases, that are high risk but potentially big reward, which the production company have been doing so well for years now. “And Universal will concentrate on everything else.”

The studio have been having a pretty strong year so far, with the likes of Fast and Furious 6, Oblivion, The Purge, and now Despicable Me 2 all playing well at the box office. Their most recent movie, R.I.P.D., has proven difficult to get off the ground amongst audiences.

But with 2 Guns, Kick-Ass 2, and Riddick all on the horizon in the next few weeks, things are looking good for their third quarter. And with the likes of Rush and Lone Survivor giving them at least a pair of Oscar candidates, they’ll be heading into the awards season with some potentially strong contenders.

 

Source: via THR.