Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment top brass announced the development on Tuesday, the day The Secret Life Of Pets crossed $400m worldwide.

The Secret Life Of Pets

The sequel will open on July 13, 2018, a slot previously claimed by Universal as Untitled Illumination Franchise Film. 

Director Chris Renaud and writer Brian Lynch return fo the sequel and Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri and long-time collaborator Janet Healy will produce.

The Secret Life Of Pets has grossed $300.3m in North America and $103.5m internationally, where it has debuted at number one in 18 markets.

It opens in China today and will roll out in a further 48 markets in the coming months.

Last month The Secret Life Of Pets scored what is now categorised as the biggest debut of all time for an original film, be it animation or live-action.

Illumination’s upcoming slate features December release Sing, which is being positioned for an awards season run and will receive its world premiere in Toronto next month.

Further out sees the release of Despicable Me 3 in June 2017 and a reboot of Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas in November 2018.