According to Universal, Illumination’s Minions: The Rise of Gru — the latest animated feature in the Despicable Me franchise — grossed about $125 million domestically in its first four days of the weekend.
Thus, the film became the record holder for the number of openings for the July 4 holiday weekend, overtaking Transformers: Darkness on the Moon, which grossed $ 115 million in 2011.
The opening is a huge shot in the arm for theaters. The industry has been anxious to see if families who are somewhat reluctant to take their children to the movies during the pandemic will return to cinemas. While there have been family hits like Sonic the Hedgehog 2, this question has become more relevant after Disney (DIS)
Last month, Lightyear and Pixar flopped at the box office.
But the play “Minions” shows that not only families want to return, but they will return in large numbers for the sake of the desired film.
“Families want to be in theaters,” Jim Orr, Universal’s president of theater rentals, told CNN Business. “They want a social event of it all.”
Why Minions did well is most likely due to the mix of good reviews (it has 71% on Rotten Tomatoes
), being the next installment in a franchise that has made about $4 billion worldwide – and possibly even TikTok, after the social networking site created a viral trend that Movie goers dress up in formal attire to watch a movie
Minions was originally scheduled to release in 2020, but was delayed several times
because of the pandemic. While other family films have opted to move to streaming, Universal has brought Minions to theaters, a strategy that paid off handsomely this weekend.
“Minions: The Rise of Gru’s knockout performance may not have been guaranteed given the less than brilliant results of some recent family films,” Paul Dergarabedian, Senior Media Analyst at Komscor (SCOR)
, told CNN Business. “But the undeniable appeal of these goofy minions contained in a perfectly executed cinema-only confection was pure cinematic catnip for kids and parents alike.”
Now theaters are looking to keep the hot streak going as they gear up for what could be one of the biggest movies of the year: Thor: Love and Thunder. The latest Marvel movie, with Chris Hemsworth reprising his role as the God of Thunder, hits theaters this weekend.