Back in July, when I reviewed Despicable Me 2 I concluded:
“The first Despicable Me was the movie you could watch with your kid(s) and secretly like a little more than them, or maybe even watch and love even if you don’t have kids; Despicable Me 2 is the movie your kids will love and force you to watch over and over again.”
If that’s true, lots of parents in North America are probably already sick of Despicable Me 2 since their kids are playing it non-stop. According to The Wrap, Despicable Me 2 set a record for first-week sales on DVD, Blu-Ray and Digital. They sold 4.5 million units of the movie across DVD, Blu-Ray, and digital copies. That amounts to a combined gross of $80 million, which is the highest such gross for any film over the last three years. The last animated film to sell that many units in its first week was the first Despicable Me. This is also the highest opening week sales for any animated Blu-Ray title in history, and the largest first week digital sales on record. Not surprisingly, it is on pace to become the highest selling digital title of all time.
Putting It In Context: Of course, Blu-Ray’s have only been around since 2006, and digital copies, at least widely available, legally-obtainable digital copies, only around over the past handful of years.
When contacted for comment, everyone at Universal Studios was initially too busy celebrating the news in a manner similar to Scrooge McDuck:
Likely angered from being pulled away from his daily money bath, the President of Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Craig Kornblau, had this bit of back-slapping to offer:
“Chris Meledandri and his team at Illumination have made Despicable Me 2 part of what has become one of the most beloved and inspired film franchises of our generation. Despicable Me 2’s astonishing results across both packaged media and digital underscores the resounding demand among consumers of all ages to have instant access to the film anytime, anywhere and cements it as one of the greatest must-own movies ever.”
Often times, home video sales are savior for a studio’s bottom line. It can help finally turn a middling box office performer into a genuinely profitable venture for the studio. Yeah, that’s not the case here. Despicable Me 2 made an astounding $918 million at the worldwide box office this summer. That ranks it second to only Iron Man 3 among the highest worldwide grossing films of the year, and is enough to be the fifth-highest worldwide grossing animated film of all time. All of this for a movie with a production budget of $76 million. Heck, they made more than that in their first week of home video sales.
The Despicable Me juggernaut cannot be stopped. It would seem as if the Minions spin-off movie set to come out Christmas 2014 is a box office slam-dunk at this point. One wonders just how many people are being given Despicable Me 2 as a gift for Christmas this year.