Meme-Obsessed Teens Are Driving Ticket Sales For ‘Minions: The Rise Of Gru’
Backed by the hottest Tiktok trend of the summer, Illumination’s Minions: The Rise of Gru delivered the all-time biggest opening for the four-day Independence Day weekend, raking in $125.1 million.
News of The Rise of Gru’s box office dominance has been all over the trades the past four days, but apart from its impressive showing what really stands out is how this film has attracted a different demographic than might have been expected.
According to the exit polling service Posttrak, 34% of the July 4 weekend audience for The Rise of Gru was 13-17-year-olds, skewing older than average for animated features. By comparison, the franchise’s last entry, Despicable Me 3, only saw 8% of its audience come from the same age group. What’s more, 89% of the audience for The Rise of Gru is 25 and under, with 25% of the audience being younger than 12 years old.
The Rise of Gru marks a change in gender demographic as well, with 49% of the audience being male whereas Despicable Me 3 saw only 45% of the audience composed of males.
So, while young kids are definitely turning up to catch The Rise of Gru in theaters, the real story seems to be that male teenagers who grew up with the franchise still think it’s cool and have found an opportunity for a fun social experience in attending the film with their friends. Enter #GentleMinions, a seemingly organic online movement which sees large groups of teenagers dress up in Gru-inspired suits attend screenings of the film together.
@lyndon.c Despicable af 🍌 #fyp #minions #riseofgru #cineplex #gentleman ♬ original sound – billh
A major force behind the viral success of The Rise of Gru has been the film’s trending popularity on Tiktok. The Minions’ official Tiktok account has added 2 million followers in the last 15 days. The account has, predictably, fully embraced the #GentleMinions movement.
Relishmix, a social media analytics company which tracks engagement across Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, and Tiktok, gave The Rise of Gru a social media universe mark of 685.5 million engagements before the film even hit theaters. According to the company, that number was 73% ahead of Lightyear, and on par with Incredibles 2.
According to the most recent Relishmix report:
Top engagement comes from 219.8 million views on Youtube and a robust new Tiktok channel for the movie itself, with 175.6 million views. Reposting rates on Youtube are outpacing norms at a rate of 28:1. The long-running Facebook with 32.1 million fans and the studio’s social network of 45.2 million with more key performance indicators are tracking strong. Nothing but positive chatter on social for Rise of Gru with fans plopping in playful sound effects, zingers, emojis, and excitement for the film’s opening, as they give out pre-ratings for Minions at 10 of 10.