The animated film jibber-jabbered its way to an estimated $115.2 million opening in the USA this weekend, giving “Minions” the second-biggest animated opening of all time. Minions are everywhere in pop culture, from major league baseball to Comic-Con to McDonald’s, where they were accused of swearing in their gibberish language. “Jurassic World” slid 54 percent to $18.1 million, bringing its Stateside haul to $590.6 million, while “Inside Out” dipped 43 percent to $17.1 million, pushing its domestic total to $283.6 million. A string of hits has propelled year-to-date box office up 8% from 2014, according to Rentrak. The film is likely to finish off somewhere in the $650 million range for domestic grosses. That’s a significantly bigger debut than “Despicable Me 2” which opened to $83.5 million two years ago.
Then, the rash began to appear with “Despicable Me 2” in 2013, which essentially gave us a misguided mess that rubbed much of the luster off the original. It’s grossed $435.5 million globally with many big territories, like the United Kingdom, Japan and China, still to go.
Taking the top spot this weekend was “Minions” bringing in an estimated $115 million. Next in its sights: “Furious 7” ($1.511-billion). The second, which cost only $7 million more, earned $368 million domestically, and just short of a billion worldwide.
It was an easy win for the sidekicks who took the spotlight after playing supporting roles in two previous “Despicable Me” movies.
The opening weekend crowd for “Minions” was 59 percent female, 55 percent under the age of 25, and 60 percent comprised of families.
Opening at #5 was The Gallows, scaring up $10 million.
Also, the film turns Minions into the heroes, which they have most definitely proven they are not, and that was also their appeal – their undying devotion to evil and their inability to perform an evil task without creating catastrophe.
The weekend’s other major new release, “Self/less“, had low expectations for distributor Gramercy Pictures (the genre label of Focus Features) but it still became one of the biggest bombs of the summer earning just $5.3 million on 2,353 screens.
Overall ticket sales were robust, improving almost 40 percent over the year-ago period when “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” kicked off with $72.6 million.