After five years of waiting for Minions to return to the big screen, a rowdy group of teenage fans in suits and ties helped “Minions: The Rise of Gru” break a July 4 box-office record of $125 million stand out in income. the past four days.
Universal Pictures, the film’s distributor, responded to the #GentleMinions trend:
“The Rise of Gru” is the fifth installment in the “Despicable Me” series, which has spawned toys, video games, books and theme park attractions since its launch in 2010. The story chronicles the boyhood of Gru, the protagonist of the first film, an aspiring supervillain.
Hollywood has been capitalizing on nostalgia lately. The success of the series follows the success of other established IPs, such as Top Gun: Maverick, which earned $570 million in the U.S. and $1.1 billion worldwide, making it the highest-grossing film of the year.
“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” based on the Marvel Comics character, grossed a whopping $953 million worldwide.
This is welcome news for the film industry, a casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Hollywood Reporter noted that ticket sales in June reached $986 million. December 2019 was the last time a single-month gross hit $1 billion.
Earlier this year, a Gallup poll found that the average American is watching fewer movies than between 2001 and 2007, with movie visits in the past year hitting an all-time low of 61 percent.
The pandemic has delayed some movie releases, creating a bottleneck, Phil Contrino, director of media and research for the National Association of Theater Owners, told Marketplace he hopes to fix the problem this summer.
Based on the lacklustre performance of other familiar characters, such as Pixar’s “Light Years,” which grossed just $106 million domestically in three weeks and had a budget of about $200 million, analysts wondered if families with young children were still avoiding the Open theaters, as “Market” host Amy Scott pointed out at the end of a recent episode.
Several factors explain the success of the Minions movies and Lightyears. Analysts told CNBC that “Minions” relies on slapstick comedy and is more accessible to audiences, while “Lightyear” focuses on the real people who inspired Buzz Lightyear’s toys in the “Toy Story” movies.
But “Gru”‘s box office receipts may be down. Some screenings with #GentleMinions in attendance have become so disruptive that UK theatres say they have to limit access and issue refunds.
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