Disney and Pixar are still the two biggest names in animated cinema, but the competition is drawing close.
“Inside Out,” the two companies’ latest movie, opened to $91 million at the United States box office last weekend. In July 2013, “Despicable Me 2,” from Universal’s Illumination Entertainment, collected $83.5 million during its opening weekend.
“Despicable Me 2” would go on to make $970.7 million worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing animated movie not produced by Disney, Pixar or DreamWorks.
For the 20 years between 1990-2010, there was little competition (read: “Shrek” and “Ice Age”) to Disney and Pixar’s dominance in the arena of animated film. But in the five years since, other companies have closed the gap by using smaller budgets to collect mammoth-sized box office receipts.
Since 2010, Disney and Pixar have combined to produce 14 films, with the biggest hits being “Frozen” ($1.274 billion worldwide) and “Toy Story 3” ($1.063 billion worldwide). In the same time period, DreamWorks Animation has produced 13 movies, with “Shrek Forever After” ($752.6 million worldwide) and “Madagascar 3” ($746.9 million worldwide) making the most money.
Smaller companies like Illumination Entertainment and Blue Sky Studios — home of the “Ice Age” and “Rio” franchises — have each made four films since 2010 for large profits.
Each of the above-mentioned studios has another likely hit movie coming out in the next six months, including Illumination’s “Minions,” which comes out July 15.. Disney/Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur” and Blue Sky’s “The Peanuts Movie” hit theaters in November and DreamWorks’ “Kung Fu Panda 3” drops in January.
Below is a look at how each of those studios have fared, including average budgets, box office earnings and total profits, since the start of 2010.
Clint Davis is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @MrClintDavis.