The Minions 2: they are ugly and mean, but they could save the animation cinema

Even though Minions 2: Once Upon a Time Gru isn’t the franchise’s biggest hit Me, ugly and meanthis new component is one of the biggest hits of 2022.


As if the Rabbids weren’t enough, the 2010s saw the birth of other hyperactive, silly and loud creatures, the Minions, who served primarily as mascots in the film. Me, ugly and mean. And just as the Remaining Bunnies stole the show from Rayman, the Yellow Critters got their own spin-off in 2015, aptly titled Minions.

The bad joke could have ended there, but since the animated feature film has collected more than 1.1 billion dollars at the worldwide box office (i.e. more than Toy Story 4 Where Finding Dory), Illumination and Universal were not going to miss a sequel. After Despicable Me 3, Minions 2: Once Upon a Time Gru should therefore have landed in theaters in 2020, but was delayed by almost two years because of the pandemic.

Even though it’s not the most successful of the franchise, the film remains a huge success for the studio and Above all, it gives hope to animated cinema, which has been particularly hit by the health crisis..

The sleet and the beasts


With over $115 million, Minions had made in 2015 the fourth best start of the year in the United States, but also the second biggest of all time for an animated film behind Shrek the Third (121.6 million excluding inflation). The record has since been broken by The Incredibles 2 from Pixar (182 million).

Minions 2 didn’t do better, but the movie still recorded 108 million for its theatrical launchthe second-best start in the franchise, far ahead of Despicable Me 3 (72 million).

Minions 2: Once Upon a Time Gru: PhotoIt is also the best start of the year for an animated film

With the sequel coming out for the 4th of July long weekend, the film pocketed 123 million in four daysmore than the revenue of Buzz Lightning on all of its home-based operations. It is also the highest score recorded for the National Day weekend ahead of transformers 3 who had earned nearly $116 million over the same period in 2011.

If it remains lower, this opening is thus similar to those of the biggest blockbusters of the year: Top Gun: Maverick (126 million), Jurassic World: The World After (145 million), The Batman (134 million), Thor: Love and Thunder (144 million) and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (187 million).

Minions 2: Once Upon a Time Gru: PhotoThe minions plotting to bring down superheroes and Tom Cruise


Nowadays, Minions 2 earned $869 million at the worldwide box officethat is to say less than the other installments of the franchise, with the exception of the first Me, ugly and mean of 2010 (543 million excluding inflation). This sequel is however far from being a disappointment, and even has everything of a success, Universal holding post-pandemic record in part thanks to the results of the film.

Minions 2 also bagged far more than any other theatrically released animated film in the past two years, including The Bad Guys from Dreamworks (245 million), Encanto from Disney (256 million), All on Stage 2 of Illumination (408 million) or even sonic 2 (401 million) from Sony.

Minions 2: Once Upon a Time Gru: PhotoThe Minions set the box office on fire

Buzz Lightning was released two weeks before Minions 2 and stood out as its biggest competitor given that Pixar’s return to the cinema had – in theory – everything from a big event. But the lamp studio got run over and only raked in a laughable $226 million worldwide (which Minions 2 at the domestic box office in less than 14 days).

Beyond the animation, the film is currently recording the fourth biggest worldwide box office of 2022 behind Top Gun: Maverick (1.4 billion), Jurassic World: The World After (990 million) and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (955 million), and ahead The Batman (770 million) and Thor: Love and Thunder (746 million).

It thus rises to the level of most of the latest blockbusters, even though its budget is well below the average with 80 million dollars excluding marketing costs spent, against 250 million for Thor 4, 200 million for The Batman and Doctor Strange 2 or 170 million for Top Gun 2.

Minions 2: Once Upon a Time Gru: PhotoBaby Gru stronger than Chris Hemsworth


Since arriving in China in 2013, the franchise has moved more and more crowds: $53 million for Despicable Me 268 million for Minions and 158 million for the last Despicable Me 3. The arrival of Minions 2 on the Chinese market on August 19 could therefore have caused the bill to explode after the banning of several films, in particular animated ones such as Buzz Lightning.

However, the start of Minions 2 was less enthusiastic with $11 millionagainst nearly 19 million for Minions and more than 64 million for Despicable Me 3. If the film benefited from a rather clear poster in the United States, its release in China was stifled by two national productions.

Minions 2: Once Upon a Time Gru: PhotoWe are always better at home

The first, launched the same day, is the animated film New Gods: Yang Jian which has the advantage of being part of an already well-established and popular franchise. The second is a sci-fi movie Moon Man which was in its fourth week of operation after making the best start of the year in any country (129 million dollars, against 126 million for Top Gun 2).

Thus, even if his score is not catastrophic, Minions 2 finished third at the Chinese box office and then suffered a 44% decline the following weekend, grossing 25 million to date. Although it probably won’t surpass the box office of Despicable Me 2 (970 million), the film should therefore continue to approach 900 million.

Minions 2: Once Upon a Time Gru: Photo“900 million, just for honor please”

A NEW HOPE (and without Disney)

In the North American market (the most important for the film), Minions 2 grossed nearly $355 million, and therefore not enough to top the franchise’s national record, still attributed to Despicable Me 2 (368 million). The sequel still does better than the first part of the minions who had won 336 million. One more time, the film surpasses all animated feature films released in the past two yearsin particular all those mentioned above.

The last big successes animated at home date back to 2019 with Frozen 2 (400 million) from Disney and Toy Story 4 (434 million) from Pixar, while Illumination had not achieved such scores since 2016 and the first like beasts (368 million). If it was unlikely to beat the $692 million of Top Gun 2, Minions again reaches the height of the other blockbusters of the year: Jurassic World 3 (374 million), The Batman (369 million), Thor 4 (336 million).

Minions 2: Once Upon a Time Gru: Photo“We’ll just replace ‘Skywalker’ with ‘Gru’ and we’ll be rich”

Since the start of the pandemic, the careers of many animated films have been sabotaged, starting with Ahead from Pixar. To alleviate the situation in the United States, Disney simultaneously released Raya and the last dragon in the cinema and in premium access on Disney+, while the Pixar Luke, Drunk and Red alert were all sold off, at no additional cost to subscribers. More or less promising films like The Mitchells vs. the Machines, spongebob the movie, live, Hotel Transylvania: Monster Changes and The Addams Family 2: A Ride From Hellalso left the 2020 and 2021 lineup for a streaming release.

At the same time, more and more films are being produced for feed the catalogs of the platforms, with no real connection with the crisis(Luck on AppleTV+, The Sea Monsters on Netflix or Ice Age: Adventures of Buck Wild on Disney+), thus limiting the theatrical offer to a few less buoyant or popular titles such as Baby Boss 2, The Croods 2 Where like beasts 2.

Minions 2: Once Upon a Time Gru: PhotoThe recovery plan is underway

Blockbusters Encanto and Buzz Lightning clearly failed to bring families back to the movies and their failure portends the worst for the future of animation, but Minions 2 succeeded, proving that the old operating model is not deprecated ; especially when the windows of exploitation are not reduced and that the films do not switch to a streaming service only a month or two after their release (we obviously point the finger at Disney).

As annoying as the minions are, this first true triumphant return of animation to the big screen therefore finally restores hope for its future in theaters, and helps a little more to accept the idea of ​​a minions 3.

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The Minions 2: they are ugly and mean, but they could save the animation cinema

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