Illumination’s Minions—those goggle-wearing, babbling yellow monstrosities—have very clearly outgrown the Despicable Me franchise they first appeared in all the way back in 2010. Beyond their titular spinoff movie releasing in 2015 and earned $1.16 billion at the box office, the creatures have become a cultural fixture unto themselves, for better and for worse. It’s not surprising that this weekend’s sequel—The Rise of Gru, which is also a prequel to the first Despicable—takes the box office, but it’s probably a surprise that it’s already shaping up to be the Despicable franchise’s best outing.
As reported by Variety, the film’s expected to lock in an Independence Day four-day record of $129.2M before the holiday weekend is said and done. Right now, its $108.5M gross (at time of writing) for a typical three-day weekend already makes it the highest domestic start for an animated film since Frozen 2 back in 2019. It also has a pretty good chance of becoming Illumination’s highest domestic opener ever, should it beat the $115.7 three-day open of the original Minions back in 2015. Since there isn’t any real kids competition around until Thor and Thor hit theaters on Friday, the Minions have the week all to themselves. And honestly, even when Marvel’s next big outing hits, the Minions may still put up a pretty good fight against the two gods of thunder.
Outside of Minions, Tom Cruise continues to fly high with Top Gun: Maverick. Today is Cruise’s birthday, and the sequel to the 1986 film has continued to have a surprising amount of longevity behind it. Its domestic total is now $571M, and overall crossed the $1 billion mark earlier in the week. Now at $1.15B, the film is Cruise’s best at the box office, and remains both the highest-grossing film of 2022 and the second film in the pandemic era to hit $1B era. Paramount’s making an active effort to push the film during the holiday weekend, so the film will likely go even further before its theatrical run comes to an end, whenever that may be.
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