Minions: The Rise of Gru Launches to Massive Preview Box Office, Breaks Record for Animated Film During Pandemic

Illumination's Minions: The Rise of Gru blew up last night, earning the best previews for an animated movie during the pandemic and opening with $10.75M. Showtimes started yesterday at 2 p.m., and the movie is showing in 3,350 theaters.  That presumably sets the movie up for a huge opening weekend.  The numbers put. Rise of Gru ahead of Despicable Me 3's $4.1M Thursday night previews, which led to a $72.4M opening weekend, as well as Marvel's Eternals (via Deadline). The film, which marks the fifth installment in the Despicable Me franchise to hit theaters, is riding high on Rotten Tomatoes, with a score of 85%, which is significantly better than the first Minions movie. And it has the benefit, in terms of box office potential, of being released on a holiday weekend, where Monday is likely to see a lot more people at theaters than the average start of the work week.

The previous Minions movie gave the yellow munchkins a new master in the form of Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock), but that film ended with Gru showing up and the Minions developing what would become their lifelong loyalty to Gru. 

This time out, we get to meet Gru as a child in his earliest days as the ringleader of the Minions, while also introducing "The Vicious 6," a team of villains played by an all-star lineup. Set just after the 2015 film, this time in the heart of the 1970s, a twelve year old Felonious Gru is growing up in the suburbs. A fanboy of a supervillain group known as the Vicious 6, Gru hatches a plan to become evil enough to join them. When the Vicious 6 fire their leader, legendary fighter Wild Knuckles, Gru interviews to become their newest member.

You can read the official synopsis for Minions: The Rise of Gru below.

It does not go well, and things only get worse after Gru steals from them with the help of Kevin, Stuart, Bob, Otto, and the other Minions and suddenly finds himself the mortal enemy of the apex of evil. On the run, Gru and the Minions will turn to an unlikely source for guidance, Wild Knuckles himself, and discover that even bad guys need a little help from their friends.

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The "Vicious 6" villain team will be led by Taraji P. Henson (Empire) as Belle Bottom; with other Vicious 6 members voiced by iconic action stars including Jean-Claude Van Damme, Lucy Lawless, Dolph Lundgren Danny Trejo and Michelle Yeoh, with Alan Arkin, Russell Brand, and Julie Andrews all playing roles. 

Minions: The Rise of Gru is in theaters now.