After last year's Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs became one of the highest grossing animated movies of all-time, it seemed inevitable that a fourth Ice Age movie would be on its way soon enough. 20th Century Fox made it official yesterday, scheduling the tentatively titled Ice Age: Continental Drift for July 12, 2012.
The Ice Age series began in March 2002 when Ice Age opened to $46.3 million on its way to a $176.4 million total. Four years later, Ice Age: The Meltdown banked $195.3 million. The Meltdown's sequel, Dawn of the Dinosaurs, was the first Ice Age movie to be in 3-D and to open in the summer, two qualities it shares with Continental Drift. Dawn of the Dinosaurs went on to become to highest-grossing Ice Age movie, closing with $196.6 million.
While the series has performed well domestically, its true profitability comes from its overseas earnings, which have been steadily increasing as the series has progressed. Ice Age grossed $206.9 million in 2002, while The Meltdown more than doubled that in 2006 with $460.1 million. Dawn of the Dinosaurs continued this rapid upward trend, tallying an astounding $688.2 million, in the process passing Finding Nemo ($528.2 million) as the highest-grossing animated movie ever overseas.