The Rise of Gru’ beats Fourth of July record, TikTok trend draws in Gen Z

“Minions: The Rise of Gru” came in on top at the box office this Fourth of July weekend, shattering previous records.

The Universal Pictures movie brought in $125.2 million at US box offices during the long weekend — July 1-4 — beating the record previously set in 2011 by “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” which brought in nearly $115.89 million in its debut weekend.

The fifth iteration of the Despicable Me franchise, all of which debuted at No. 1, also came in as No. 1 internationally. Total worldwide sales came in at nearly $219 million, according to Box Office Mojo.

The movie also garnered the ninth highest opening weekend for an animated film domestically of all time, knocking out The Secret Life Of Pets, which came out in mid-July of 2016, according to Comscore Senior Media analyst Paul Dergarabedian.

Dergarabedian says the movie had “everything going for it, from great reviews to a perfectly timed holiday release date” for families and kids looking for something fun to do. In addition, he said, the high turnout shows that kids and parents “love the movie theater experience” and are willing to buy at the box office despite “unlimited amount of content available for them at home.”

Shawn Robbins, chief analyst of Boxoffice Pro, agrees. In a note to Yahoo Finance, he said the debut was a major milestone for studios and theaters as the biggest family-driven opening since 2019. “There has never been more confidence that moviegoing is closer than ever to a state of normalcy across a wide range of audience demographics during this long pandemic recovery period,” he said.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 28: Steve Carell and the Minions visit the Empire State Building on June 28, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Empire State Realty Trust)

#Gentleminons madness

But with the mega debut, came some mega chaos at some movie theaters following a viral TikTok trend using the hashtag #gentleminions. The meme craze gained momentum throughout the holiday weekend as Generation Zers went to cinemas in suits and scarves like those of the main character, supervillain Gru. At some locations, moviegoers and staff were unhappy with the rowdy crowds — prompting some theaters to ban teens wearing the suits.

As of Tuesday, the trend had nearly 8 million views on the social media platform. Universal Pictures on the other hand, was excited about the cult-like following among the generation that grew up with the franchise, which debuted in 2010.

“Top Gun: Maverick” took the No. 2 spot for the weekend, bringing in $33.0 million, beating out the Baz Luhrmann production of “Elvis,” which came in No. 3, with a $23.5 million US box office haul this weekend.

Brooke DiPalma is a producer and reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter at @BrookeDiPalma or email her at bdipalma@yahoofinance.com.

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