Minions: Rise of Gru Smashes Box Office Records With $127.9M Opening
Minions: The Rise of Gru might earn $127.9 million domestically in its first four days, according to early estimates. That includes $108.5 million for three days (the amount could change on Monday). By Sunday, the film will have made more than $200 million worldwide. Illumination and Universal’s movie will have one of the best beginnings for an animated Hollywood tentpole, not adjusted for inflation. Higher-priced Imax venues generated $10 million globally and $8.6 million domestically.
Friday’s haul from 4,400 theaters was $48 million, including $10.8 million in previews. The movie’s performance shows that parents and younger children are ready to return to the theater. Animated films were a challenge during the pandemic. Pixar and Disney’s Toy Story spinoff Lightyear opened to a lackluster $51 million last month before falling down drastically in its sophomore outing. Paramount’s live-action/CGI hybrid Sonic the Hedgehog 2 held the record for the largest PG family opening with $72 million.
2011’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon opened with $115.9 million, followed by Spider-Man 2 ($115.8 million) and Despicable Me 3 ($99 million). Minions 2 will be No. 1 if predictions hold. Some consider Spider-Man: Homecoming a July 4th entry given the holiday fell mid-week in 2017, but it’s not a fair comparison (Homecoming was released July 7-9 to $117 million domestically). As the box office rebound continues, overall weekend income will be higher than in 2019. Holdovers, especially Top Gun: Maverick, have also helped.
The Rise of Gru is the fifth film in the Despicable Me franchise, the highest-grossing animated series in history, not adjusted for inflation. Minions 2 was expected to make $70 million to $80 million during the holiday weekend, but others thought it would do more. If four-day numbers hold, the picture will have a franchise-best opening. On three days, it will trail Minions ($115.7 million).
Minions 2 will be the 10th animated picture to open with $100 million or more, after Incredibles 2 ($182.7 million). Its three-day total of $108.5 million surpasses Shrek 3 as the eighth-highest domestic debut for an animated film.