Universal has struggled in the hit department in the past couple of years, let alone the hit-turned-ride department. Indeed, Universal parks have rented franchises such as Warner Bros.' "Harry Potter," Paramount's "Transformers" and Fox's "The Simpsons" as a means of keeping up with the properties that will lure families looking for fun. Thus Meledandri is "something of a corporate hero" at Universal for being the creative brain child behind "Despicable Me," which has proven popular enough to spawn both a sequel and a ride.
The next rung on the ladder? A land. John Lasseter has taken over twelve acres of Disney's California Adventure with a "Cars" fantasia, and James Cameron and Disney are working on an "Avatar" kingdom in Orlando.