The Hype Machine That Turned Minions Into a $4B Juggernaut

Has been for eight days Minions: The Rise of Crane released, and American movie theaters have yet to recover. Crane-Attendees have come by the thousands, many in formal attire, clapping loudly and occasionally dragging the screen with bananas to celebrate the most unlikely box office success of the year. The only thing that has been seen more than the film itself over the past week may be the hundreds of TikToks and tweets made about it.

The rise of Crane is the fifth film in the Minions franchise, which began with I despise in 2010. The plot centers on Gru, an 11-year-old boy with a vaguely Russian accent, who employs a team of minions in his quest to become a super-painkiller. Gru is the main character, but in reality, the film is about minions, a kind of white-yellow spots, the origins of which were explored in 2015. Minions, the third installment of the franchise. They talk in bubbles (a random mix of French, English, Spanish, and Italian), dress almost exclusively in jeans, and inject into movies a kind of slap comedy that has made them popular with children for a decade.

Minions-mania, then, is nothing new. The first four films earned more than $ 3.5 billion at the box office worldwide, making it the highest-grossing animated film franchise of all time. But even these films pale in comparison to the The rise of Gru, that has catapulted the global takeover of the franchise beyond $ 4 billion and inflated the Internet with such a contagious hype that even people who had never seen it I despise they have become part of the #minionscult.

For some, this is pure random chaos. A video explains #minionscult as a kind of viral challenge to “take on TikTok” with banana emojis and matching profile pictures. Of course, random chaos is exactly what minions do best. In one film, they use their extensive laboratory resources to build a fart gun. Because why not! The TikToker that started the trend, called @HutchBucketz, just wanted to see if Universal Pictures would invite him to the premiere of The rise of Crane if it generated enough hype. (Unfortunately, the study did not).

Others, many of them young people who grew up with the franchise, have joined around another trend. It consists of appearing en masse in cinemas, dressing in formal attire, and saluting in the stately manner of Gru. Last weekend, the presence of these #GentleMinions became so pronounced that at least one theater in the UK put up a sign warning that it would not allow entry of customers in suits and ties. Universal, meanwhile, published a tweet saying “to everyone who shows up at @Minions in dresses: we see you and we love you.”

Ryan Broderick, who writes the Garbage Day newsletter on Substack, suggested that #GentleMinions may have emerged as a reference to a previous meme around the 2019 film. Joker, where people posted photos of incel – like men with the title “two entries for Joker, please.” Young people dressed up and asking for “30 million tickets for Minions”Feels like a riff of the old trend.

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