Comcast Says 'Minions' Is Universal's Most Profitable Movie Ever

Animated Film Brings In $1.16 Billion In Worldwide Ticket Sales

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'Minons' has topped 'Despicable Me' as Universal Pictures' most profitable film.
'Minons' has topped 'Despicable Me' as Universal Pictures' most profitable film. Credit: Courtesy Universal Studios Hollywood

"Minions," the animated summer film starring three yellow creatures that don't speak a discernible language, is the most profitable film in Universal Pictures' history.

Steve Burke, chief executive officer of Comcast Corp.'s NBC Universal division, told employees in a memo Wednesday that the picture was among three movies that each grossed more than $1 billion worldwide in 2015. That was also a first, he said.

The memo underscores the success of Universal's relationship with Chris Meledandri, whose Illumination Entertainment produced all three "Despicable Me" pictures. He uses animators in France and is known for delivering films at a lower cost than competitors.

"Minions," which hit theaters July 10, took in $1.16 billion in worldwide ticket sales on a production budget of $74 million, according to researcher Box Office Mojo. Universal led the box office for the first time since at least 2000, buoyed by three megahits: "Jurassic World," "Furious 7" and "Minions."

Universal declined to comment on the memo.

Mr. Burke has previously said that 2013's "Despicable Me 2" was the company's most profitable ever.

-- Bloomberg News

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