“Minions: The Rise of Gru” has set a box office record for Independence Day weekend.
Minions: The Rise of Gru is expected to set a new record at the box office for being the highest-selling film for any Independence Day weekend opening in history. After being released to theaters on Friday, the film is projected to bring in $127.9 million, beating out the previous record-holder, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which earned $115.9 million in 2011.
“This is a sensational opening,” said David A. Gross of the movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research. “Family animation, more than any other genre, has struggled to find its footing during the pandemic. This weekend, ‘Minions’ is breaking through and big animation is back in business.”
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Worldwide, the film is expected to bring in close to $200 million, far outpacing the original estimates by $50 million.
The Rise of Gru is the fifth film in the Despicable Me franchise. In addition to Steve Carell, the movie stars Taraji P. Henson, Michelle Yeoh, RZA, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Lucy Lawless, Dolph Lundgren, Danny Trejo, Russell Brand, Julie Andrews, and Alan Arkin.
The success of the film was helped by a viral social media trend of viewers attending showings of the newest installment in the Despicable Me franchise while wearing full suits.
The record-setting opening weekend comes just weeks after the disappointing debut of Lightyear, which made just $51 million in its first weekend. In the time since, it’s only gone up to $189 million worldwide against a $200 million production budget.