The reformed supervillain Gru and his lovable yellow minions will reunite on the big screen in "Despicable Me 3," Universal Pictures announced Wednesday. The animated film is scheduled for release on June 30, 2017.
The original "Despicable Me," which tells the story of a criminal mastermind (voiced by Steve Carell) who changes his ways after adopting three girls, was a surprise hit in 2010, earning more than $500 million worldwide. A follow-up, "Despicable Me 2," was the third-highest-grossing movie in the United States and Canada in 2013, generating $368 million in ticket sales; it earned $568 million more abroad.
The success of the two films, and the popularity of the jabbering, pill-shaped creatures known as minions, has already prompted Universal to drum up a spinoff prequel, titled "Minions," currently set for 2015.
Along with "Despicable Me 3," Universal announced dates for two more projects from its animation studio, Illumination Entertainment. The first, currently untitled, is an original animated comedy to be directed by Garth Jennings ("The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy") and scheduled for release Dec. 21, 2016.
The second is a new version of Dr. Seuss' "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" to be directed by veteran animator Pete Candeland and scheduled for release Nov. 17, 2017.
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