'Minions' Movie Pushed Back From Christmas 2014 to Summer 2015

Despicable Me 2 Minions Eating Lunch - H 2013
Universal Pictures

Despicable Me 2 Minions Eating Lunch - H 2013

The move leaves Universal without an animation tentpole next year but allows the studio to open the movie in the same corridor that "Despicable Me 2" debuted.

Universal is pushing back the release of Illumination Entertainment's untitled Minions spinoff movie from Dec. 19, 2014, to July 10, 2015.

The delay means the studio won't have an animated film next year, and comes only days after Disney and Pixar announced they were pushing The Good Dinosaur from 2014 to 2015, likewise leaving Pixar without a film release during a calendar year for the first time since 2005.

Considering this summer's animation glut, it's no surprise that Hollywood studios are shuffling their release schedules, even if it means longer periods between films.

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Studio insiders say Universal was so happy with the July 2013 release date for Illumination's Despicable Me 2 that it decided to open Minions in roughly the same corridor. Despicable 2, debuting on July 2, has grossed a staggering $840.5 million to date.

Universal had already staked out July 3, 2015, for an untitled Illumination movie; that project is being pushed back to Feb. 12, 2016.

Universal is likely relinquishing the July 3, 2015, date -- opting instead to open Minions on July 10 -- because of the crowded playing field, including the Terminator reboot and Independence Day 2. Both of those tentpoles are likely to get some amount of family traffic.