Illumination Entertainment and Universal on Tuesday announced that a sequel to this summer's animated hit The Secret Life of Pets is a go, and that it will hit theaters July 13, 2018. It is Illumination's second major franchise after the Despicable Me and spinoff Minions series.
News of the follow-up — which will see the return of director Chris Renaud — comes as Ilumination and Universal's 'The Secret Life of Pets' crosses $400 million at the global box office.
There will be more barking. ...
As we've noted here before, Illumination Entertainment is one of the only studios to outsource story work for animated features and actually make it work. (That is, do the development outside studio walls and end up with a hit film. There have been plenty of other companies that have used this method, but they've all fallen on their corporate faces by creating a dud movie).
Illumination Entertainment uses a lot of storyboard artists domiciled in California. It uses board artists in other locations. And it has a growing number of development artists in Paris, where the animation is done at IE's MacGuff studio.
To date, animation producers that four-wall feature animation work have done better than out-sourcers and predominated. But Meledandri and Illumination Entertainment have shown there's another way.