With Tuesday’s numbers included, Illumination and Universal Pictures’ The Grinch steered the sleigh across the half-billion mark worldwide. The split is $270M domestic and $231M at the international box office for $501M global. This is the 6th title from the folks at Chris Meledandri’s animation powerhouse to reach $500M.
Domestically known as Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch, the Benedict Cumberbatch-voiced update on the Christmas classic opened No. 1 with $67.6M in November. That gave Illumination its 7th No. 1 bow with the movie going on to become the 6th highest-grossing title of 2018 and the 2nd biggest animated film of the year in North America.
Overseas, where Dr Seuss is not well-known outside the English-speaking markets and Germany, the movie was titled simply The Grinch and has remained in the Top 10 for nine consecutive weeks. It opened No. 1 in 30 territories, including the UK, France, Australia, Spain, Mexico, Norway, India, Thailand, Vietnam, New Zealand, Hungary and Ukraine.
Globally, the Yarrow Cheney/Scott Mosier-directed pic scored the biggest bow for a Christmas-themed film and went on to become the highest-grossing Christmas-themed pic of all time and the top Seuss adaptation.
The Grinch is the story of a big green grump who sets out to steal Christmas, only to find his heart touched by little Cindy Lou Who and her selfless yuletide wish.
For their work on the film, Meledandri and longtime collaborator Janet Healy recently received a PGA nomination. Healy told Deadline in October that a big takeaway from the story is the “power of inclusion, diversity. Also, the importance of community and tradition… But, even more so there’s the redemptive power of forgiveness. It really speaks to what kindness means and how joy and love and compassion are so important. Not only at Christmas, but for all of us, it’s a time to make the world a better place.”
Next up this summer, Illumination and Universal will go (back) to the dogs with The Secret Life of Pets 2, the anticipated follow-up to 2016’s $875.5M worldwide grosser.