EXCLUSIVE: This is the reason that Universal Studios president/COO Ron Meyer and his team trekked to Arkansas last week for a personal visit to the Wal-Mart headquarters. I’ve just learned that Universal’s first family film/toon unit from Chris Meledandri’s Illumination Entertainment’s Despicable Me made first-day sales on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital downloads of nearly $25 million Tuesday. What made the difference was the exclusive debut of three all-new mini-movies on the DVD Double Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack and 3D Combo Pack starring the film’s wildly popular Minions. The mega-hit animated family comedy sold well over one million units to consumers (excluding rentals) in its first 24 hours of release and is poised to become the 2nd biggest-grossing animated home entertainment title of the year. The movie has already grossed $500+M in worldwide box office.
EXCLUSIVE: Despicable Me, the first film out of the gate for Universal Pictures and Chris Meledandri’s Illumination Entertainment, will cross the $500 million worldwide gross mark tomorrow. It steps into rarefied territory as the film continues to roll out around the world. The 3D animated film that starred Steve Carell recently cracked the Top 10 list of all time biggest domestic-grossing animated films. The pic, which cost $69 million to make, has grossed $248 million domestically, which puts it a distant second behind Toy Story 3, but makes it 2010′s second biggest animated film domestic grosser so far. Despicable Me also has become Universal’s sixth highest domestic-grossing film ever, and the studio’s biggest international grossing film of 2010. The film just opened in Japan but hasn’t played yet in several territories including China. It has done $247 million overseas, and is expected to finish as Universal’s fifth all-time biggest grossing film in the international marketplace. Just as important, the picture pulled Universal out of a prolonged slump.