Arts & Entertainment

Minions box office success shows off TikTok’s influence

Minions: The Rise of Gru had the best box office debut of any film since the pandemic struck in 2020, raking in $125 million or more during the holiday weekend. It’s a July 4 record and one of the top 10 openings of all time for an animated feature.

It owes a lot of its success to one particular trend — #GentleMinions on TikTok. Copying the film’s lead — super-villain Gru voiced by Steve Carell — young men were arriving in groups at theaters across the country dressed in suits and equipped with bananas (a Minion’s favorite snack).

@____pan I thought it was a joke #fyp #minions #banana ♬ original sound – Pan solos ya verse

@sebjohn1904 Boys pulled up #gru #minions #suit #suitedandbooted #fyp #riseofgru #movie ♬ original sound – House of Highlights

“For those less savvy about internet trends, it stems from the ‘gigachad‘ idea,” one commenter online wrote. “Bear in mind that it’s all about irony. The movie is meant to be silly and ridiculous, so taking it as seriously as possible makes it even sillier.”

The official Minions TikTok account, which has endorsed the movement, now has over three million followers — with one million garnered in the last week.

“According to PostTrak, 34 percent of the opening weekend audience was between ages 13 and 17, an unusually large showing among teenagers for an animated movie,” writes Pamela McClintock in The Hollywood Reporter. “That compares to 8 percent for the last title in the series, Despicable Me 3, which debuted in 2017.”

There have been several unconfirmed reports of bad behavior on social media (bananas being thrown, cigars being lit). One theater in the U.K. went as far as to ban anyone wearing formal attire from entering to see the movie.

@julesterpakReporters somehow still in denial that TikTok runs culture♬ Rich Minion – Yeat

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