'Secret Life of Pets 2' in the works, set for 2018 release

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Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures have launched development on the sequel to its animated hit "The Secret Life of Pets." The release date is scheduled for July 13, 2018.

Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri and his longtime collaborator Janet Healy will produce the follow-up to the comedy, which set a record for best U.S. opening weekend for an original film, animated or otherwise, with $104.3 million. Chris Renaud will return to direct and writer Brian Lynch is back to write the script.

Will 'Secret Life of Pets' Make Chris Meledandri a Household Name?

"The Secret Life of Pets" has hit $400 million at the worldwide box office with $300.3 million at the domestic box office and $103.5 million internationally, where it opened No. 1 in 18 markets to date. "Pets" is just launching its run into 48 more territories, with China opening Tuesday.

"The Secret Life of Pets" is directed by Renaud and Yarrow Cheney and written by Lynch, Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio. Its voice cast includes Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart, Steve Coogan, Ellie Kemper, Bobby Moynihan, Lake Bell, Dana Carvey, Hannibal Buress, Jenny Slate and Albert Brooks.

Check out more from one of the stars, Kevin Hart, in the gallery below!

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WESTWOOD, CA - JUNE 10: Actors Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart arrive at the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Central Intelligence' at Westwood Village Theatre on June 10, 2016 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Honoree Kevin Hart, recipient of the Comedic Genius Award, poses in the press room during The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Actor Kevin Hart (C) with Heaven Hart (L) and Hendrix Hart (R) during The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/MTV1415/WireImage)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Pictured: Kevin Hart -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 12: Actor/comic Kevin Hart walks the red carpet for the screening of his concert film, 'What Now?' at Regal Gallery Place on October 12, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Shannon Finney/FilmMagic)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 12: Actor Kevin Hart and wife, Eniko Parrish attend 'Kevin Hart: What Now?' Philadelphia Screening at UA Riverview 17 on October 12, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)
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