Minions are invading the theater in more ways than one. As the next installment of Illumination’s Despicable Me franchise, Minions: The Rise of Gru, pushes into its opening weekend, its young adult fans are celebrating in a unique way. Theaters across the country are finding themselves selling tickets to moviegoers in full suits!
The “Dress like Gru to watch the Minions Movie” trend appears to be an offset of the “tickets to ___ please” meme that has been trending for a few months. Minions fans are taking it to a new level, dressing as the wannabe villain himself to see the film. Not only that, but they are also cheering at the Illumination screens and thanking other patrons for seeing the movie. The trend has both baffled and delighted theater employees, other moviegoers, and even parents taking their kids!
Sadly, like a lot of fun stunts, some attendees can take the joke a little too far. Some groups get a little too loud with the cheering and excitement, with theaters being forced to kick out the super-fans without a refund. One particular group on TikTok involved an attendee throwing a banana and hitting the movie screen, which is an easy way to damage a very expensive piece of property.
First the cinema, then… THE MOON!
Minions: The Rise of Gru was another animated feature that was slated for a 2020 release, but was pushed back due to the pandemic. The movie premiered yesterday across the United States and is already taking over the world by storm. According to Variety, the film walked away with a massive $10.75 million in Thursday preview screenings. Because of this shocking opening night, Universal and Illumination are projecting the film to bring in a whopping $129.2 million opening through the four-day holiday weekend. This would be quite the success story from an animated movie, this would more than double Pixar’s summer blockbuster, Lightyear, which earned $51 million over its opening weekend.
You’re probably asking yourself how this happened? How could a Minions sequel be projected to walk off with more than a Pixar movie with more than double the budget? Sadly, there isn’t really a straightforward answer. There’s a lot of reasons why Lightyear underperformed, poor marketing, a confusing tie-in, a script that left fans unhappy.
Meanwhile, with the Minions? Perhaps it’s the bar being set lower when it comes to audience expectations. Perhaps it’s Gen Z wanting to have fun with a sequel to a movie they grew up watching (a ten-year-old that watched Despicable Me in 2010 would be over 20 years old now). Perhaps a Minions sequel just sounds more appealing to parents and children.
While the answers will never be completely clear, we can all agree on one thing. We all go to the movies to have fun. Theater attending is almost a culture in and of itself, with audience reactions being part of the experience of seeing a movie. The cheering when Captain America picks up Thor’s Hammer, the clapping when Immortan Joe meets his demise, the screaming when Michael Meyers sits up after getting a hanger stabbed in his eye, we all love experiencing those moments with others. Minions fans can add this to a list of unforgettable moments in theater history!