With a little help from this inescapable yellow Minions characters, Universal and Illumination’s Despicable Me 3 surpassed $1 billion at the global box office on Thursday.
It becomes only the third film to reach the mark this year, behind Beauty and the Beast and fellow Universal release The Fate of the Furious.
Domestically, DM3 has grossed $259.0 million and counting, including an uptick back to the top 10 this past weekend with an 8th place rank. The film also broke the seven-year record for most theaters, playing in 4,529 theaters at its peak.
Overseas the movie has earned $741.4 million and counting, the 4th-highest international earner of the year. In the process, it dethroned Ice Age to become the highest grossing animated franchise of all time overseas — which it accomplished in four films compared to Ice Age‘s five.
The Despicable Me franchise also overtook Shrek to become the highest-grossing animated franchise of all time globally, also doing it in one film fewer than Shrek‘s four titles. (Although the Despicable Me franchise benefitted from higher ticket prices than Ice Age or Shrek did, rendering the comparison a bit skewed.)
If there’s anything to nitpick here, it’s that the film will earn a bit less globally than the predecessor installment in the franchise, 2015’s spinoff Minions which earned $1.15 billion worldwide. But it’s already surpassed the global gross of DM2 with $970 million, no guaranteed feat.
Despicable Me 3 stars the voices of Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, and Trey Parker.