Families made bananas for Minions at the cinema this weekend. “Minions: The Rise of Gru” grossed an estimated $108.5 million in ticket sales from 4,391 screens in North America, Universal Pictures said Sunday. By the end of the July 4 holiday Monday, it’s likely to have made over $127.9 million.
The film is on track to become one of the all-time biggest openings for a July 4th holiday weekend, a record previously held by ‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon’, which covered 115 in its first four days in 2011. Grossed $9 million. Including international screenings where Minions: The Rise of Gru is being played in 61 markets, its worldwide gross as of Sunday is $202.2 million.
“It’s a great debut,” said Jim Orr, President of Domestic Sales at Universal. “It’s playing out very broadly across North America. Every single market is developing extraordinarily well.”
This is just the latest in a string of hits for Universal’s family releases, including Sing 2, which has grossed over $406 million since it opened in December, and The Bad Guys, which has grossed over $243 million. Minions: The Rise of Gru is further proof that family audiences are ready to get back to the movies.
“Families are very comfortable taking all of their children to the theater,” Orr said. “These results speak for themselves.”
“Minions 2” attracted all age groups to the theater, including the very young. According to PostTrak surveys, 12% were under 10 years old.
“For many months there was this idea that family audiences weren’t going to come back to the theater. We can clean that up,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore.
The spin-off of the popular Despicable Me series has been delayed by two years due to the pandemic. The sequel to the 2015 film Minions was originally scheduled for a July 2020 release. While many other animated family films opted for streaming or hybrid releases, much like Top Gun: Maverick, Minions stayed the course, waiting for an ideal time to hit theaters only. And like Top Gun, it seems it was worth the wait.
“It became an event. It was a holiday weekend, the release date was perfect, the marketing was spot on,” Dergarabedian said. “And everyone knew this was going to be in theaters only.”
The voice cast consists of Steve Carell reprising his role as Gru, Alan Arkin, Michelle Yeoh and Julie Andrews as Gru’s mother. Critics were mixed to positive (it currently has a 72% on Rotten Tomatoes), but audiences were more enthusiastic, giving the Gru origin story an A CinemaScore.
Universal and Illumination have enjoyed tremendous success with five Despicable Me films and spin-offs dating back to 2010, grossing over $3.7 billion at the worldwide box office.
In second place was Top Gun: Maverick, which continues to deliver six weeks later and adds another $25.5 million to its total, which has already surpassed $1 billion. The Paramount Pictures film is still showing at 3,843 locations.
Warner Brothers’ “Elvis” took third place on the second weekend of cinemas, down only 39%. The Baz Luhrmann film grossed an estimated $19 million through Sunday, bringing its domestic total to $67.3 million.
Fourth and fifth places also went to Universal titles, with “Jurassic World: Dominion” grossing another $15.7 million and the horror film “The Black Phone” grossing $12.3 million through Sunday.
Disney’s “Lightyear,” meanwhile, continued to plummet in its third weekend at an estimated $6.5 million. By Monday, that total should rise to $8.1 million, bringing the cumulative profit to $106.9 million.
Bleecker Street released “Mr. Malcolm’s List” on 1,384 screens in the US and Canada. The Regency-era comedy stars Freida Pinto and Zawe Ashton as friends seeking revenge on a picky bachelor. The studio estimates the film will have $851,853 by the end of Sunday and over $1 million by the end of Monday.
Audiences are also still catching up with A24’s Everything Everywhere All At Once, which added an estimated $552,000 from 607 screens, although it’s also available on-demand. The studio’s newer title, Marcel the Shell With Shoes On, expanded to 22 screens this weekend and is expected to gross about $308,000 by the end of Monday.
According to Comscore, the entire weekend will go down in history as one of the biggest of the pandemic era. And momentum is expected to continue with the release of Marvel’s Thor: Love and Thunder next week.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday in US and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. The final domestic figures will be released on Tuesday.
1. “Minions: The Rise of Gru”, $108.5 million.
2. “Top Gun: Maverick”, $25.5 million.
3. “Elvis”, $19 million.
4. “Jurassic World: Dominion”, $15.7 million.
5. “The Black Telephone”, $12.3 million.
6. “Lightyear”, $6.6 million.
7. “Mr. Malcolm’s List, $851,853.
8. “Everything, Everywhere at Once,” $551,974.
9. “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”, $390,000.
10. “JugJugg Jeeyo”, $318,000.
Lindsey Bahr, The Associated Press
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