“They’re everywhere, those yellow guys!” Those were the words of Universal’s Head of Domestic Distribution, Nick Carpou, this week. He wasn’t talking about bananas, of course, but the phenomenon that is the Minions. Whether it’s the film, merchandise, or an ad featuring the canary-coloured critters, you just can’t escape them – and the movie has well and truly sent them into the stratosphere.
A whopping $115.2m was made at the North American box office over the weekend, which ensured that Minions has opened as the second-biggest animated flick ever, not far off Shrek the Third‘s haul of $121.6m in 2007.
When you consider that the movie only cost $74m to make, a peanut-like budget when compared to others of the genre, it becomes a truly staggering achievement. Singling out animation ace Chris Meledandri for special praise, Carpou explained the success thus: “I’m not sure the public is mindful of what films cost, they’re more concerned with how they resonate. Chris is able to produce films that speak to families, to children, to people everywhere.”
But he hit the proverbial nail firmly on the head when he went on to say: “In a way they exist in the culture without even having a film attached to them.” Evidence of this is all around us – heck, even dads are kicking back on a Saturday night to Match of the Day in Minions loungewear – so it’s easy to see why the Despicable Me stars are riding so high, beating Jurassic World into second place at the box office, with another animation, Inside Out, lagging in third. Terminator: Genisys was at number four, with The Gallows in fifth.
Can anyone stop the Minions? More to the point, does anyone want to? In the words of Rentrak media analyst Paul Dergarabedian: “More Minions equals more millions.”