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Illumination Entertainment is an American film production company, founded by Chris Meledandri in 2007 and based in Santa Monica, California. They are best known for their inaugural film, the 2010 animated feature Despicable Me, which has since become the studio's Flagship Franchise. The Minions, who first appeared in the film, are the studio's mascots and starred in their own spin-off prequel film that was released in summer 2015.
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Illumination has an exclusive financing and distribution partnership with Universal Pictures. In April 2016, it was announced that Universal's parent company and Comcast subsidiary, NBCUniversal, would purchase rival studio DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 billion. The effects of the acquisition to Illumination wasn't made clear, other then bringing the two studios under the same roof. Illumination is expected to remain a separate brand from DreamWorks for the time being, making the two sister brands. In contrast, Laika, which co-produced its first four films under Universal Pictures's Focus Features label, remains an independent studio unaffiliated with NBCUniversal or Comcast.

In the same year as the DreamWorks acquisition, Illumination released The Secret Life of Pets and Sing. Sequels to both films are expected to be released in 2019 and 2020, respectively.

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