The film’s debut is the second highest ever for an animated film, behind the $121 million opening for “Shrek the Third” back in ‘07.
It is the best opening yet for the hugely successful “Despicable Me” franchise, following a borderline obnoxious marketing effort that blanketed billboards, McDonald’s meals and Amazon.com Inc. packages.
“Minions” was followed by summer box-office blockbusters “Jurassic World,” which grossed an estimated $18.1 million for a total of $590.7 million, and “Inside Out,” which added $17.1 million to its haul of $283.6 million. A slew of hit movies has propelled year-to-date box office up 8% from 2014, according to Rentrak.
“Minions,” brought to you by Comcast Corp. ’s Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment, is an origin story of the yellow creatures, and follows their recruitment to help a bad guy try to take over the world. It features the voices of actors Sandra Bullock and Jon Hamm. The first “Despicable Me” opened in 2010 to $56.4 million, eventually grossing $251.5 million. The sequel, “Despicable Me 2,” launched in 2013, was one of the most successful animated films of all time, opening to $83.5 million and collecting $368 million while in theatres. International audiences also caught on to the films, adding $602 million in overseas grosses to the sequel’s global haul.
Most audiences have given the new “Minions” movie an “A” grade, according to the CinemaScore market-research firm, which will send more people to the box office once word-of-mouth, begins to spread.
The movie continues a solid year for animated films, following the success of “Home” and “Inside Out.” Helping boost its box office: adult fans coming without the children. Universal said about 45% of “Minions” moviegoers this weekend were over the age of 25, and 40% weren’t attending as part of a family.
Universal has several projects lined up with Illumination, which continues to be a crucial moneymaking partner for the studio even as the overall animation field becomes more competitive than ever. Two Illumination films will hit theaters next year, and a third “Despicable Me” is scheduled for release in 2017.
The “Minions” debut “bodes so well for the future,” said Nick Carpou, Universal’s president of domestic distribution. The studio gave “Minions” its widest North American opening ever, a debut in 4,301 theaters.
“Minions” sucked up most of the box-office oxygen when it came to new releases. “The Gallows,” a low-budget movie about a group of students who are terrorized after they decide to revive a school play that resulted in an actor’s death 20 years earlier, made its debut in fifth place with a tepid $10 million.
Moreover, a photograph of what appears to be an extremely loving dad and his excited son together about to go see the new animated hit has taken reddit by storm.
Unfortunately, there aren’t many details to go on as far as the “story behind the story” is concerned, only that the picture was posted to reddit and it quickly hit the top of the social news site Sunday evening.
On the other hand, a picture truly is worth a thousand words, and “Minions” dad is proof of that. That prompted the accompanying reddit text, “Father of the year award goes to this gentleman who was taking a very excited boy to the movies.”
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