The characters are ubiquitous.
And “Baby Driver”, which opened Wednesday, featuring a young getaway driver with a passion for music, earned $5.7 million in its first night, and is expected to bring in $20 million this weekend. The rest of the voice cast consists of Kristen Wiig, Trey Parker, Miranda Cosgrove, Jenny Slate and Julie Andrews.
Steve Carell stars as the voice of “despicable” bad guy-turned-protagonist Gru – and his twin brother Dru – in the Universal film. Under pressure to find a way to support his wife, Lucy (Kristen Wiig), and daughters, Gru is badgered by his Minions to take up villany again.
Ah yes, Freedonia. You may recognize that name from one of the greatest comedies of all time, Duck Soup, starring the Marx Brothers. “I designed a birthday card for Chris Meledandri a few years ago”, says co-director Eric Guillon, also a character designer on the Despicable Me films. Take, for instance, the bit where the Minions use an underwater vehicle to almost run over two clownfish that look suspiciously like Marlin and Nemo from Pixar’s wonderful Finding Nemo.
Together with Illumination Entertainment founder Chris Meledandri, the trio became a force to be reckoned with right out of the gate in 2010 with Illumination’s first film “Despicable Me”. But against a $217 million budget and a franchise with three movies that made $100 million in 3-4 days, it’s not a good sign for this series.
Anticipation for the next “Despicable Me” is high, according to analysts. Even the kids in attendance during an advance screening seemed notably antsy, perhaps because of the semi-arid stretches between the big slapstick and vaguely naughty sight gags that the gibberish-spouting Minions in particular provide, including a peculiar foray that lands them in prison…
Meanwhile, the Minions, disgusted by Gru’s decision, pack their bags and leave. Did you figure out the goal of asking these obvious questions already? What’s more is this is the last major animated project coming to theaters for a while, so Despicable Me 3 should have a monopoly over its target demographic for a number of weeks. I wish we’d gotten more. It’s fascinating as a piece of cultural anthropology, but nothing more. Their stand-alone walks on the wild side punctuate the film without really ever being a part of it.
Despicable Me has always been about family, particularly Gru’s paternal growth as the adoptive father to this trio of orphaned girls, and the third film’s best moments echo that dynamic, including the bond between brothers. It is, however, suitably goofy.
Well, I’m here to tell you that “Despicable Me 3” does not ruin the franchise.
It’s a well-known fact that most third installments of film franchises do not rise to the level of the first (and often the second). That means families with children will get a bit of an earlier jump for the exits. Yet here we are.
You can view this weekend’s full box office results below. It doesn’t go anywhere, and has no meaning to the larger movie, but at least it’ll be a surprise to anyone who doesn’t understand basic plot clichés.
One of the reasons we lose sight of Bratt for so long is because “Despicable Me 3” has way too many storylines going on.