Chris Meledandri, founder and CEO of Illumination, has been nominated to join Nintendo as an Outside Director. The animation studio and the world’s leading video game company are currently teaming on the anticipated upcoming Super Mario Bros. feature film.
Nintendo recently made the announcement in their fiscal year-end March 2021 report, and plans to name Meledandri as Outside Director at the video game company’s 81st annual general meeting of shareholders in June.
“We would like to nominate him as a new Outside Director with the expectation that he will appropriately supervise our companyʼs management from an objective perspective, while providing valuable advice to our organization, based on his broad experience and insight gained as a leader in the field of entertainment,” read the Nintendo report.
“Our current group of Outside Directors consists of experts such as lawyers and accountants, and as members of the Audit and Supervisory Committee, they contribute to enriching the audit and supervisory system of our company through their broad insight into our corporate management. However, Mr. Meledandri is expected to be nominated as an Outside Director who will not serve as a member of the Audit and Supervisory Committee,” the report continued.
Meledandri is responsible for two out of the three highest-grossing franchises worldwide: Despicable Me ($3.7 billion in worldwide box office across four movies) and Ice Age ($3.2 billion across five movies).
In 2020, Illumination’s Despicable Me was reportedly the most watched film on Netflix, and Illumination’s Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch and Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax were the second and ninth most watched films on the streamer, respectively. Minions is the fourth highest-grossing animated pic worldwide with $1.159 billion, while Despicable Me 2 was nominated for two Oscars including Best Animated Feature in 2014. The long-anticipated next installment of the series, Minions: The Rise of Gru, will open theatrically on July 1, 2022.
Sing 2, voiced by Bono from U2, Pharrell Williams, Halsey, Letitia Wright, Bobby Cannavale, Chelsea Peretti, Eric Andre, Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Tori Kell, Taron Egerton and Nick Kroll, will hit theaters via Universal on December 22.
Illumination’s canon also includes 2011’s Hop, 2012’s Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, 2016’s The Secret Life of Pets and Sing, 2018’s Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch and 2019’s The Secret Life of Pets 2, all of which have grossed $6.7B worldwide.
Prior to Illumination, Meledandri was a senior executive at 20th Century Fox. He became the founding president of 20th Century Fox Animation, where he created the Ice Age franchise.
Nintendo reported that its year-on-year operating profit surged 82% to $5.9 billion, with net sales of $16.1 billion up 34.4%.