Minions take over the box office
The Future. Universal’s Minions: The Rise of Gru blew box office expectations out of the water this July 4th weekend. From TikTok trends to rowdy theater mosh pits… let’s just say the franchise has taken on a life of its own. As theaters struggle to make a comeback from pandemic lulls, they may be smart to lean into the virality of such tongue-in-cheek moments.
Moviegoers are going bananas for minions.
- The movie scored a whopping $125 million, the biggest ever opening over a July 4th weekend — beating Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which made $115 million in 2011.
- Fueling the craze, the song “Rich Minion” by Yeats went viral on TikTok as moviegoers pulled pranks over the sound — like showing up to the theater in full suits as #Gentleminions or sneaking in 200 lbs of bananas.
- Crowds have gotten so rowdy, with mosh pits and “disruptive cheering,” that police have shut down screenings while other theaters have begun to ban teens in suits.
Of note, TikTok hasn’t been the only thing driving Minion-sanity. Minions made some key brand partnerships and even worked with creator Cole Bennett to direct a special trailer for the movie, which prompted the creation of the viral Yeats soundtrack.
Many were concerned about the prospects of animated movies at the box office, especially after Disney’s Pixar film Lightyear had a lackluster turnout this year. But Minions: The Rise of Gru appears to be injecting new life into the category.
Shawn Robbins, a chief analyst at Box Office Pro, described the phenomenon: “A very diverse audience showed up for Rise of Gru over the holiday weekend… moviegoers [are seeking] escapism amid other economic and social challenges going on in the world right now.”