Minions: The Rise of Gru isn't just setting records at the box office. It's also attracting a lot of online energy. Folks are rallying to reverse review-bomb the film on sites that tabulate audience ratings and approval scores. But some fans are taking that online energy offline by dressing up in formal attire to go see Minion: The Rise of Gru in theaters, often snapping pictures in front of the film's theater poster to share online. The behavior of these "gentleminions," as they sometimes call themselves, may strike others as odd, but it is apparently a growing trend this weekend, as even Universal Pictures has taken note.
As with most odd viral behavior recently, the origin of this trend is TikTok. It seems that people took the "Tickets to X, please" meme, which shows unexpected moviegoers buying tickets for a movie seemingly well out of their demographic, and applied to reality, with people dressed for a night at the opera or other high-class event (or the closest one can approximate to that look on a budget built for an ironic photo op) to go see a broadly comedic, low-brow work of cinema.
As with the review-bombing, the trend does appear to be built on irony. The Minions represent a broad brand of humor in popular culture, occupying space on countless memes. This viral TikTok trend is all about basking in the surreal moment when low-brow meets high art.
Minions: The Rise of Gru is the second Minions movie, a sequel to the original, the second prequel to Despicable Me, and the fifth Despicable Me movie overall. According to the synopsis, "In the 1970s, young Gru tries to join a group of supervillains called the Vicious 6 after they oust their leader -- the legendary fighter Wild Knuckles. When the interview turns disastrous, Gru and his Minions go on the run with the Vicious 6 hot on their tails. Luckily, he finds an unlikely source for guidance -- Wild Knuckles himself -- and soon discovers that even bad guys need a little help from their friends."
Kyle Balda directed Minions: The Rise of Gru, with Brad Ableson and Jonathan del Val serving as co-directors. Steve Carell stars as Gru with Pierre Coffin as the Minions. The voice cast also includes Taraji P. Henson, Michelle Yeoh, RZA, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Lucy Lawless, Dolph Lundgren, Danny Trejo, Russell Brand, Julie Andrews, and Alan Arkin.
Minions: The Rise of Gru is now playing in theaters.