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Gentleminions TikTok trend: How Gen Z helped ‘Minions’ soar over July 4 weekend

‘Minions: The Rise of Gru’-themed hashtags took over TikTok this weekend, showing the power the platform has to drive audiences to theaters.

Gentleminions TikTok trend: How Gen Z helped ‘Minions’ soar over July 4 weekend
[Image: Universal Pictures]

If you’ve been on TikTok the last few days, you’ve probably seen your feed inundated with young adults in suits walking into movie theaters along with the hashtag “Gentleminions.” There was a time, of course, when adults did dress up in a suit to attend the movies—but that kind of dress code hasn’t been a regular occurrence for close to 90 years. So what’s with the young adults in suits in 2022?

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It’s part of a Gen Z-fuled TikTok trend centered around Illumination’s new movie Minions: The Rise of Gru, which is part of the Despicable Me animated movie franchise. And it goes to show how important TikTok as a platform can be to promoting Hollywood movies in 2022. The Gen Zers showing up in suits are mostly doing so ironically—to show love for a film series they grew up with as children (yep, Get Z is now old enough to have nostalgia just like the rest of us). The suits are inspired by the Despicable Me series antagonist, Gru.

Since the #Gentleminions TikTok trend went viral with the film’s launch on July 1, Minions: The Rise of Gru blew past July 4 holiday box office expectations, bringing in over $125 million domestic and $93 million international for a worldwide haul of $218 million for its opening weekend, according to Box Office Mojo. That’s one of the best box office openings over July 4 in cinema history.

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But while the viral Gentleminions TikTok trend likely did have some to do with helping promote the film to Gen Z audiences (Minions also trended on TikTok this weekend with other hashtags, including #minioncult, which has almost 300 million views as of the time of this writing), not everyone was happy about the trend. As Newsweek reports, some movie theaters banned fans from showing up in suits because they felt the stunt was distracting to other movie watchers, such as young children and families discovering the franchise for the first time.

However, the film’s distributor Universal Pictures issued their full support behind the Gentleminions trend. The studio tweeted, “to everyone showing up to @Minions in suits: we see you and we love you.”

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