As well as Despicable Me 2, which is set to open July 2013, Universal is also moving ahead with a spin-off movie that will focus on the yellow minions.
The Untitled Minions Project will be directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud, who are currently working on Despicable Me 2, and Universal has set the release date for December 19th, 2014.
The Christmas release is obviously to make an impact on the toy buying activities of parents around that time. The merchandise market is big business (the Cars franchise makes billions for Disney/Pixar) so we can assume this was one of the main reasons for producing a minions spin-off. Kids just love the funny little things!
Despicable Me featured the voices of Steve Carell and Russell Brand, and made nearly $550 million worldwide in 2010. It followed a criminal mastermind who uses a trio of orphan girls as pawns for a grand scheme, only to find their love changes him for the better.