Universal had an incredibly profitable year with Illumination Entertainment in 2013; Despicable Me 2 made the best part of a billion dollars ($935m, in fact), and the company has just locked in 2017 release dates for two new films from the studio: Despicable Me 3 and a remake of Dr Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
Despicable Me 3 is slated for 30th June, 2017, with no word yet on whether Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud (who directed the first two films and voice the minions) will return to helm. It seems like an unusually large gap, particularly coming after Despicable Me 2's mammoth takings in summer 2013, until you factor in the fact that Minions, the little yellow hench-things' spin-off film, is out on 10th July, 2015.
Next up, Illumination are continuing their Dr. Seuss adaptation with the remake of How the Grinch Stole Christmas that we heard about last February. Pete Candeland is still directing, from a script by Michael LeSieur (You, Me and Dupree). It'll likely be in a similar vein to 2012's The Lorax (which I didn't particularly like, so hopefully not that similar), and will indeed be a CG film. Grinch opens on 17th November, 2017.
Bleeding Cool) calls it an "original animated comedy event about courage, competition and carrying a tune."
With Illumination Entertainment still to prove themselves outside of the Despicable Me franchise, it will be interesting to see how this new slate turns out.