Special Report

The Highest-Grossing Kids’ Movies Since the Original ‘Toy Story’

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

19. Minions: The Rise of Gru
> Box office: $369,695,210 (inflation-adjusted: $369,695,210)
> Release date: July 1, 2022
> Main cast: Steve Carell, Pierre Coffin, Alan Arkin
> Directed by: Kyle Balda, Brad Ableson, Jonathan del Val
> Production company: Universal Pictures; Illumination Entertainment

The second film in the “Minions” spinoff series and fifth in the “Despicable Me” franchise tells the backstory of Felonious Gru, played by Steve Carell, growing from a kid with aspirations of villainy to one of the world’s most infamous supervillains. The film gave rise to the #Gentleminions social media trend of mostly young men going to watch the movie dressed in suits.

Source: Courtesy of Buena Vista Pictures

18. The Incredibles
> Box office: $261,441,092 (inflation-adjusted: $385,606,340)
> Release date: Nov. 5, 2004
> Main cast: Craig T. Nelson, Samuel L. Jackson, Holly Hunter
> Directed by: Brad Bird
> Production company: Walt Disney Pictures; Disney-Pixar

The first “Incredibles” introduced a family of superheroes living during a time when the general public has soured on superhero vigilante justice. In turn, the family and all other superheroes are forced to hide their powers and live as normal citizens. However, villainy is still afoot. The film won Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature and Best Sound Editing.

Source: Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

17. Inside Out
> Box office: $356,461,711 (inflation-adjusted: $387,752,533)
> Release date: June 19, 2015
> Main cast: Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Lewis Black
> Directed by: Pete Docter, Ronnie Del Carmen
> Production company: Disney-Pixar

“Inside Out” takes complicated psychological concepts and portrays them in a fun and easy to understand story. Emotions are transformed into anthropomorphic creatures that must go on an adventure to help adolescent protagonist Riley cope with the challenges of moving to a new city. “Inside Out” debuted in 2015 and then returned to theaters during summer 2020 for screenings at mostly drive-in theaters during earlier parts of the pandemic. It won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature in 2016.

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

16. The Secret Life of Pets
> Box office: $368,384,330 (inflation-adjusted: $390,529,970)
> Release date: July 8, 2016
> Main cast: Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart
> Directed by: Chris Renaud
> Production company: Illumination Entertainment; Universal Pictures; Chris Meledandri; Dentsu Inc.; Fuji Television Network

What do pets do when their owners are away? Max the dog spends most of his unsupervised time socializing with other animals in the New York apartment building where he lives. However, things change when his owner adopts a dog named Duke. A rivalry quickly grows between the two pets and leads to them to get lost out on the city streets. This is the only top-grossing film by Illumination Entertainment that’s not in the “Despicable Me” franchise.

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

15. Despicable Me 2
> Box office: $368,065,385 (inflation-adjusted: $415,148,165)
> Release date: July 3, 2013
> Main cast: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Benjamin Bratt
> Directed by: Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud
> Production company: Universal Pictures; Chris Meledandri; Illumination Entertainment

The “Despicable Me” franchise follows supervillain Felonious Gru and his minions on his goofy plots to become the most infamous crook in the world. While both spinoff “Minions” films make this list, the only film from the main trilogy is “Despicable Me 2.” It follows Gru as he’s reluctantly drawn back into the world of villainy after leaving it all behind. At one time, this was the most profitable film in the history of Universal Pictures.

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