"Minions" ruled the weekend box office, racking up a massive $115.2 million in North America, for the second biggest animated film opening in history.
The Universal and Illumination Entertainment spin-off to "Despicable Me" just missed the domestic record set by "Shrek the Third's" $121.6 million kickoff in 2007, while continuing animation maestro Chris Meledandri's hot streak at the multiplexes. What makes Meledandri so valuable to studios is that he keeps budgets low. "Minions" cost $74 million to produce, a modest number considering that Pixar and DreamWorks Animation routinely spend north of $100 million on their animated features.
"I'm not sure the public is mindful of what films cost, they're more concerned with how they resonate," said Nick Carpou, Universal's domestic distribution chief. "Chris is able to produce films that speak to families, to children, to people everywhere."