If you’re going to the cinemas this weekend, chances are you’ll run into a group of burly young guys in their best attire in the foyer.
Their favorite movie? Minions: The Rise of Gru.
It’s a viral trend that has infiltrated movie theaters around the world, breaking box office records and some companies even denying entry to moviegoers wearing suits.
So what’s going on? Grab a banana while we break it down.
Wait, is there another Minions movie?
If you can believe it, the Minions multiverse started over a decade ago with the 2010 release Despicable Me about a reformed supervillain named Gru and are yellow minions†
Since then, the public has been spoiled with Despicable Me 2 (2013) and Terrible Me 3 (2017), with Terrible not 4 slated for release in 2024.
In between all that, fans were treated to the spin-off prequel minions in 2015.
Now Gru’s rogue origin story has hit theaters with Minions: The Rise of Gru†
So why do teens wear suits to the movies?
Ironically, young men on TikTok have started donning formal attire for sessions of the latest Minions movie to give, in their words, this slice of high-art cinema the respect it deserves.
The trend has been dubbed #GentleMinionsa pun on “gentlemen”, and has quickly gone viral.
TikToks shows everything from groups wild cheer during the movie until getting up and making makeshift moshpits for the projection screen.
Cultural critics have tried to find out what the Why young people have seized Minions with such gallant ferocity.
But as someone pointed out, the Despicable Me franchise is part of this TikTok teens’ youth.
And with Facebook groups like Minion Memes for Moms attracting 20,000 members, it’s not surprising that teens want to reclaim some of their childhood on their own terms — this time with their own money.
Haven’t I heard that some places ban the suits?
You sure did.
Because of the rowdy — and understandably confusing — behavior sparked by the #GentleMinions movement, some movie theaters have started denying entry to “any group of guests in formal attire” to showings of Minions: The Rise of Gru due to “recent disturbances.”
In the UK, Mallard Cinema Manager Daniel Phillips-Smith told the BBC: “It is absolutely heartbreaking.
But some cinemas have embraced the boost in sales and are turning special #GentleMinion screenings†
As for here in Australia, major movie theater franchises have confirmed they are not banning the trend just yet, as long as moviegoers don’t ruin the fun for everyone else.
This is great for Minions, right?
They are definitely bananas.
Minions: The Rise of Gru actually opened a week before the United States in Australia, debuting on $3.7 million†
But in the United States, it broke the record for the highest grossing film released on the weekend of July 4. $187 million during the opening weekend.
That means it is the previous record holder of Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011), giving a total of 4 days $170 million†
So occasional cinema glitches aside, you can see why Universal Pictures is grateful to the #GentleMinions.
But not every meme translates into money
The Minions: The Rise of Gru meme isn’t the only recent movie to be linked to a running gag.
Marvel’s morbiusstarring Jared Letoinitially refueled at the cash register, earning only $109 million in the US when it had a budget of $110 millionas Forbes reports.
But while Morbius was a flop, the memes weren’t.
“It’s Morbin’ time” became a popular phrase on the Internet, despite it not appearing anywhere in the script.
The internet is a powerful tool, so Sony saw the huge memes as a sign of popularity and brought Morbius back into theaters.
But the popularity behind the Morbius memes is because Morbius is objectively a bad movie.
What sets Minions apart from Morbius is the fact that: people actually buy tickets to the former, taking the franchise to new heights and creating a phenomenon that marketing agencies will struggle and not recreate.
But if Hollywood gives people what they want, this might not be the last time we see a movie theater full of kids dressed up.