Ranking the Costliest Illumination Films of All Time

  1. Despicable Me 3 (2017) – $80 million
    The third installment of the highly successful franchise, featuring Gru and the Minions, came with a significant budget, mainly due to the increasing scale and animation complexity.
  2. Minions: The Rise of Gru (2022) – $80 million
    This prequel explored the origin of the Minions and Gru’s early days, requiring substantial resources to create the detailed backstory.
  3. Despicable Me 2 (2013) – $76 million
    The sequel to the original Despicable Me movie saw an increase in its budget, likely due to the growing popularity of the franchise.
  4. Sing (2016) – $75 million
    This musical comedy featured a diverse cast of animals participating in a singing competition, which necessitated impressive animation and voice talent.
  5. The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019) – $80 million
    The sequel to the 2016 hit had a similar budget, continuing the adventures of Max, Duke, and their pet friends in New York City.
  6. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (2012) – $70 million
    This environmentally themed animated film adapted from Dr. Seuss’ book featured an impressive voice cast and required a substantial budget for the unique character designs and environmental settings.
  7. The Secret Life of Pets (2016) – $75 million
    The original movie introduced audiences to the antics of pets when their owners were away, and its success led to a sequel.
  8. Despicable Me (2010) – $69 million
    The film that started it all had a comparatively modest budget, but it proved to be a wise investment for Illumination.
  9. Horton Hears a Who! (2008) – $85 million
    The Dr. Seuss adaptation of the classic tale required advanced animation techniques to bring the story to life.
  10. Hop (2011) – $63 million
    Combining animation and live-action, Hop told the story of E.B., the Easter Bunny’s teenage son, and his adventures in the human world.

These budgets reflect the costs associated with creating top-quality animated features and often include expenses for voice acting, animation, marketing, and distribution. Despite the investments, many of these films have proven to be lucrative for Illumination, establishing it as a major player in the animation industry.

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