FThis weekend, Minions was a big hit with the family at the cinema. “ Minions: The Rise of Gru ” brought in an estimated $108.5 million in ticket sales from 4,391 screens in North America, Universal Pictures said Sunday. By the end of the Monday’s July Fourth holiday, it will likely have earned over $127.9 million.
The film is on track to become one of the biggest openings ever for a July Fourth holiday weekend, a record previously held by “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” which made $115.9 million in its first four days in 2011. Including international showings, where “Minions: The Rise of Gru” is playing in 61 markets, its worldwide gross is sitting at $202.2 million through Sunday.
“It’s a tremendous debut,” said Jim Orr, Universal’s president of domestic distribution. “It’s playing very broadly across North America. Every single market doing extraordinarily well.”
This is just the latest in a string of successes for Universal’s family releases, including “Sing 2,” which has grossed over $406 million since opening in December, and “The Bad Guys,” which has made over $243 million. “Minions: The Rise of Gru” serves as further proof that family audiences are willing to go back to the movie theater.
“Families feel very comfortable bringing all their kids to the theater,” Orr said. “These results speak for themselves.”
“Minions 2” attracted all ages to the theater, even the very young. PostTrak Surveys revealed that 12 percent of those surveyed were below the age 10.
“For many months there was this idea that family audiences were not going to come back to the theater. We can put that to rest,” said Paul Dergarabedian, the senior media analyst for Comscore.
The spinoff of the popular “Despicable Me” series was delayed two years because of the pandemic. The sequel to the 2015 film “Minions” was originally slated for a July 2020 release. While many other animated family films opted for streaming or hybrid releases, “Minions,” much like “Top Gun: Maverick,” stayed the course and waited for an ideal time to launch in theaters only. And as with “Top Gun” the wait, it seems, was worth it.
“This 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 features Steve Carell, reprising his role as Gru, Alan Arkin, Michelle Yeoh and Julie Andrews as Gru’s mother. While the Gru origin story received mixed reactions from critics (it currently holds a 72% Rotten Tomatoes rating), audiences were much more positive and gave it an A CinemaScore.
Universal and Illumination have had enormous success with the five “Despicable Me” movies and spinoffs, which date back to 2010 and have earned over $3.7 billion at the global box office.
In second place was “Top Gun: Maverick,” which continues to deliver six weeks in, adding another $25.5 million to its total, which has already surpassed $1 billion. Paramount Pictures’ film “Top Gun: Maverick” is currently playing at 3,843 locations.
Warner Bros.’ “Elvis” took third place, down only 39% in its second weekend in theaters. Baz Luhrmann’s movie “Elvis” earned an estimated $19million through Sunday. That brings it to $67.3 million domestically.
Fourth and fifth place went to Universal titles as well with “Jurassic World: Dominion” picking up another $15.7 million and the horror movie “The Black Phone” adding $12.3 million through Sunday.
Disney’s “Lightyear,” meanwhile, tumbled further in its third weekend with an estimated $6.5 million. The total earnings should rise to $8.1 million by Monday. This would make it $106.9 million cumulatively.
Bleecker Street released “ Mr. Malcolm’s List ” this weekend on 1,384 screens in the U.S. and Canada. As friends who want to win back a picky bachelor, Freida pinto and Zaweashton star in the Regency-era comedy. Studio estimates the film will earn $851,853 at the end of Sunday and $1 million at Monday.
Audiences are also still catching up with A24’s “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” which added an estimated $552,000 from 607 screens, in spite of the fact that it’s also available to rent on demand. The studio’s newer title, “Marcel the Shell With Shoes On,” expanded to 22 screens this weekend and is expected to earn about $308,000 by the end of Monday.
Comscore predicts that the entire weekend will be remembered as the most important of all the pandemics. And the momentum is expected to continue with the release of Marvel’s “Thor: Love and Thunder” next week.
According to Comscore, Friday-Sunday ticket sales are estimated at approximately $2.5 billion in U.S. theaters and Canada. On Tuesday, the final domestic figures will go public.
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