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Shrek 5 Reclaiming A Box Office Record Shrek Lost 7 Years Ago Will Be Nearly Impossible


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Summary

  • DreamWorks has big plans for Shrek 5, but reclaiming its box office record from Despicable Me is unlikely.
  • The return of the Shrek franchise is a priority for DreamWorks after a few inconsistent years at the box office.
  • Despite the anticipation for Shrek 5, the current lead of Despicable Me and the upcoming release of Despicable Me 4 make it difficult for Shrek 5 to reclaim its box office record.


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DreamWorks’ plans for Shrek 5 are moving forward, and anticipation is very high, but that does not make reclaiming a major box office record the franchise lost any more realistic. The Shrek movies have always been incredibly popular thanks to their family-friendly appeal and how quickly Shrek, Fiona, and Donkey became iconic animated characters. However, audiences have been waiting 14 years to see the trio together again in Shrek 5. That long of a wait should be great news for Shrek 5’s box office fixing the franchise’s decline that has occurred for nearly two decades.

It might not yet be clear exactly when Shrek 5 will come out, but the sequel is certainly a priority for DreamWorks at this point. The studio has had an inconsistent few years at the box office, so the return of the Shrek franchise is exactly what is needed. Expectations are already incredibly high for Shrek 5 to be a major box office hit as a result. While the movie is in a good position to be a triumphant franchise return to theaters, there is one record the successful franchise used to have that it surely will not reclaim now.

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Despicable Me Beat Shrek To Become The Highest Grossing Animated Franchise In 2017

The-Despicable-Me-Franchise-Holds-A-Record-Only-Shrek-5-Can-Beat

For quite some time, Shrek held a major box office record as being the highest grossing animated franchise. This was made possible by becoming the first animated movie franchise to surpass several box office milestones, such as grossing $1 billion, $2 billion, and $3 billion. By the time the Despicable Me franchise entered the picture in 2010, Shrek Forever After helped push DreamWorks’ series to $2.9 billion in total box office. Puss in Boots‘ release the following year increased the franchise total to $3.5 billion, a record high for an animated franchise at the time.

However, Shrek eventually lost its highest grossing animated franchise record to Despicable Me in 2017. This was due to the Shrek franchise not releasing any new movies between 2011 and 2022. With its box office total remaining at $3.5 billion, Illumination released new Despicable Me movies, and they all performed incredibly well. This led to Despicable Me 3 making $1 billion, which pushed the franchise’s total box office to $3.7 billion. It was at this moment that Shrek lost its box office record to Despicable Me after 20 years of remaining atop the list of highest grossing animated movie franchises.

Despicable Me’s Animated Box Office Record Is Still Increasing Before Shrek 5 Comes

The bad news for Shrek 5 is that Illumination is still ensuring that Despicable Me‘s box office total continues to increase. Five years after taking the record from DreamWorks, Illumination released Minions: The Rise of Gru in 2022 and watched it make $936 million worldwide. This pushed the Despicable Me franchise’s box office total to $4.6 billion. Even though the Shrek franchise returned the same year with Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, it only made $484 million worldwide. That left Shrek‘s franchise box office total at $4 billion, meaning it is still $600 million behind Despicable Me.

Shrek Franchise

Despicable Me Franchise

Movie

Box Office

Franchise Box Office Total

Movie

Box Office

Franchise Box Office Total

Shrek (2001)

$488.3 Million

$488.3 Million

Despicable Me (2010)

$543.8 Million

$543.8 Million

Shrek 2 (2004)

$928.7 Million

$1.417 Billion

Despicable Me 2 (2013)

$970.7 Million

$1.514 Billion

Shrek the Third (2007)

$813.3 Million

$2.230 Billion

Minions (2015)

$1.159 Billion

$2.674 Billion

Shrek Forever After (2010)

$752.6 Million

$2.983 Billion

Despicable Me 3 (2017)

$1.034 Billion

$3.708 Billion

Puss in Boots (2011)

$554.9 Million

$3.538 Billion

Minions: The Rise of Gru (2022)

$939.6 Million

$4.648 Billion

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (2022)

$484.6 Million

$4.022 Billion

If that was not enough, Illumination is also releasing Despicable Me 4 in 2024. The return of Gru and the Minions is expected to be one of the highest grossing movies of 2024. This is because each movie in the Despicable Me franchise has made almost $1 billion on average. Despicable Me 4‘s likelihood of having a similarly great performance will mean that the franchise’s box office total will fly past the $5 billion mark, further increasing Despicable Me‘s lead as DreamWorks continues to develop Shrek 5.

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Shrek 5 Might Need Over $1.6 Billion To Reclaim Its Box Office Record After 2024

Shrek snuggling with Puss in Boots

The combination of Despicable Me‘s current lead over Shrek and the upcoming release of Despicable Me 4 means that Shrek 5‘s box office will have to hit new milestones to reclaim its lost box office record. Assuming that Despicable Me 4 performs on par with the rest of the franchise, there is a good chance that Shrek 5 will need to make over $1.6 billion worldwide. Its ultimate goal could be slightly less if the latest Despicable Me movie underperforms, while it could also be much higher if the film becomes another The Super Mario Bros. Movie-level success for Illumination.

Shrek 5 making around $1.6 billion would be significant on several levels. It would easily break the franchise’s record for highest grossing entry, beating Shrek 2‘s $928 million total and becoming the franchise’s first $1 billion release. Furthermore, Shrek 5 would become the highest grossing animated movie of all time if it made $1.6 billion. That level of success proves just how impossible it probably is for the Shrek franchise to overtake Despicable Me to become the biggest animated movie franchise in box office history again once Shrek 5 is released.

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