ⓘ Minions (film)


ⓘ Minions (film)

Minions is a 2015 American 3D computer-animated comedy film, serving as a spin-off prequel to the Despicable Me franchise. Produced by Illumination Entertainment for Universal Pictures, it was directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda, written by Brian Lynch, and produced by Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy. The film stars the voices of Coffin, Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton, Allison Janney, Steve Coogan, and Jennifer Saunders, with the narration provided by Geoffrey Rush. It was first foreshadowed in the end credits of Despicable Me 2, where Kevin, Stuart, and Bob, three of the Minions and the films main characters, are seen auditioning for the film.

Minions had its premiere on June 11, 2015, in Leicester Square, London, and went into general release in the United States on July 10, 2015. Critical response was mixed: some critics praised the comedic aspects of the film and the vocal performances of Bullock and Hamm, while also saying they felt that the title characters were not able to carry the film on their own, and that the villains were flatly characterized. The film has grossed over $1.1 billion worldwide outgrossing each of the Despicable Me films, making it the fifth-highest-grossing film of 2015, the 21st highest-grossing film of all time, the fifth highest-grossing animated film and the highest-grossing non-Disney animated film. A sequel, Minions: The Rise of Gru will be released on July 3, 2020.


1. Plot

Minions are small, yellow creatures who have existed since the beginning of time, evolving from yellow single-celled organisms into beings which exist only to serve historys most despicable masters. After rolling a Tyrannosaurus into a volcano, getting their caveman leader eaten by a cave bear, crushing a Pharaoh under a pyramid after constructing it upside-down, exposing Count Dracula to sunlight, and accidentally firing a cannon into Napoleon while in Russia, the Minions are driven into isolation and start a new life in a massive cave. After many years, the Minions become depressed, restless, and unmotivated without a master to serve. To regain their dignity and sense of purpose, Kevin, one fearless Minion, decides to set out to find a new master and asks for help. Stuart, a musically inclined, one-eyed Minion, and Bob, a young and inexperienced but enthusiastic Minion, are recruited.

The trio journey to New York, when the year is 1968. After spending the day attempting to blend in, the Minions end up in a department store for the night, where they accidentally discover a hidden commercial broadcast for villains advertising Villain-Con; a convention for villains and supervillains in Orlando. The trio hitchhikes a ride with the Nelson family and impress them with their accidental villainy after being chased by police. At the convention, they see Scarlet Overkill, a female supervillain who unexpectedly hires them and takes them to her home in England. They phone the rest of the Minions to get them to join.

Scarlet explains the plan to steal the Imperial State Crown from the Queen of England and promises to reward the Minions if they steal it but kill them if they do not. Her husband, Herb, supplies them with inventions to aid in the heist, but they are nearly caught when they break into the Tower of London, which leads to a chase that ends with Bob accidentally crashing into the Sword in the Stone and pulling it free, removing the Queen from the throne and becoming King Bob. Enraged that somebody else accomplishes her dream of stealing the throne, Scarlet confronts the Minions, so Bob abdicates the throne in her favor. Undeterred because she feels betrayed, Scarlet imprisons the three in a dungeon to be tortured by Herb before her coronation, but they escape with the intention to apologize to Scarlet.

After making their way to Westminster Abbey, Stuart and Bob interrupt the coronation by inadvertently dropping a chandelier on Scarlet, who orders their execution having survived. Dozens of villains chase the three of them during a thunderstorm; Stuart and Bob are caught, while Kevin finds his way into a pub, where Queen Elizabeth currently hangs out. He sees Scarlet on a television, promising that she will kill Stuart and Bob if Kevin does not show up by dawn. With the villains still searching for him, Kevin sneaks into Scarlets castle to steal weapons. But right before the villains catch him, Kevin accidentally triggers a machine Herb was building and grows into a gigantic being, destroying the castle. He tramples through London, rescuing his friends and battling Scarlet just as the other Minions turn up in London. Scarlet tries to eradicate them, firing a massive missile, but Kevin swallows it. Scarlet and Herb attempt to escape with her rocket-dress, but Kevin holds onto it, managing to get a ride. The missile Kevin swallowed detonates, causing it to explode. The other Minions stare at the explosion in sadness but Kevin turns out to have survived and shrunk back to his normal size.

Queen Elizabeth II gets her throne and crown back and rewards Bob with a tiny crown for his teddy bear, Stuart with an electric guitar and Kevin with a knighthood. Scarlet and Herb, who turn out to have also survived the explosion, steal the crown once more only to be frozen in place by a young Gru, who flees with the crown on a rocket-powered motorbike. The Minions stare in awe and run after him, having decided he is the boss they had been looking for.


2. Production

Universal Studios and Illumination Entertainment first announced in July 2012, that the Minions from Despicable Me would get their own spin-off film, then planned for a 2014 release. Brian Lynch, previously known for co-writing another Illumination film, Hop 2011, as well as DreamWorks Animations Puss in Boots 2011, was asked to write the films screenplay, due to his prior work writing for the theme park ride Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem.

On August 21, 2012, it was announced that the film would be released on December 19, 2014. In February 2013, Sandra Bullock joined the cast to voice Scarlet Overkill, with Jon Hamm joining two months later as her husband Herb Overkill. On September 20, 2013, the films release date was pushed back from December 19, 2014, to July 10, 2015, due to Universals satisfaction with the successful July 2013 release of Despicable Me 2 and desire to exploit fully the merchandising potential of a summer film.


3. Soundtrack

The official soundtrack for the film was released on July 10, 2015, by Back Lot Music. The soundtrack also features the films original music, composed by Heitor Pereira. The only minion not to receive a character music is Stuart, though individual soundtracks focusing on him appears on all songs.

All music is composed by Heitor Pereira, except where noted.


4. Release

The film had its premiere on June 11, 2015, at Odeon Leicester Square in London, United Kingdom. On June 17, 2015, it was released theatrically in Indonesia and Australia. The next day, June 18, saw releases in Malaysia and Singapore, and a screening at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, in France. It was released theatrically in the United Kingdom on June 26, 2015. In the United States, the film premiered on June 27, 2015, at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, and went into general release theatrically on July 10, 2015. It was released in China on September 13, 2015.


4.1. Release Marketing

The first trailer for Minions was released by Illumination on November 3, 2014, through YouTube. McDonalds released Minions -related Happy Meals on July 3, 2015. A series of comics and graphic novels based on the film is being published by Titan Comics. The series includes four comic book issues, two digest collections, two hardcover editions and a paperback collection. Drawn by Didier Ah-koon and Renaud Collin, the series launched on June 17, 2015, with the release of the first issue of the Minions comic book and the first digest collection. In April 2015, Pantone announced the creation of a new official Pantone color, Minion Yellow displayed at right, in partnership with Illumination Entertainment.

Universals parent company, Comcast, and its partners spent $593 million in advertisements and promotion across all media and platforms. Universal spent a total of $26.1 million on TV advertisement for the film. Universal described the promotional campaign as the "largest and most comprehensive" in its history. However, due to the sheer size of the films marketing campaign, a backlash towards the Minions started hitting social media with hate blogs towards the characters appearing on sites like Reddit and Tumblr.


4.2. Release Home media

Minions was released on Blu-ray, Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD and Digital HD on November 16, 2015, in Europe and on December 8, 2015, in North America. The film is accompanied by three short films titled Cro Minion, Competition, and Binky Nelson Unpacified. Extras include Making Of and Minion Jingle Bells.

Upon its first week of release on home media in the U.S., the film topped the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks overall disc sales, as well as the dedicated Blu-ray sales chart with 63% of unit sales coming from Blu-ray.


5.1. Reception Box office

Minions grossed $336 million in North America and $823.4 million in other territories for a worldwide total of over $1.159 billion. Worldwide, it is the fifth-highest-grossing film of 2015, the highest-grossing animated film of 2015, the fifth-highest-grossing animated film, the 21st-highest-grossing film, and the fifth-highest-grossing film released by Universal Pictures. It topped the worldwide box office for three consecutive weekends.

By breaking $1 billion worldwide, Minions became the first non-Disney animated film, third animated film after Toy Story 3 and Frozen, and the 23rd film in cinematic history to do so. Needing 49 days, it became the fastest animated film to reach $1 billion, surpassing Toy Story 3 75 days. This made Universal Pictures the first studio ever to have three films earn more than $1 billion at the worldwide box office in a single year following Furious 7 and Jurassic World. Deadline Hollywood calculated the net profit of the film to be $502.34 million, when factoring together all expenses and revenues for the film, making it the most profitable animated film of 2015, the most profitable Universal Pictures film of all time and the second-most profitable picture of that year overall, behind only Star Wars: The Force Awakens.


5.2. Reception United States and Canada

In the United States and Canada, Minions received the widest release for Universal Pictures, the widest of 2015, and the second-widest for an animated film behind Shrek Forever After 4.386 theaters. It opened simultaneously with the horror film The Gallows and the sci-fi drama Self/less, across 4.301 theaters, with box office pundits noting that the film did not face serious competition with them. Initial projections had the film open around $100–$121 million. However, Universal Pictures decided not to report box office figures for the movie. It made $6.2 million from its Thursday night showings from 2.985 theaters, which began at 6 p.m., a record for an animated film now held by Finding Dory, and $46.2 million in its opening day including Thursday previews, marking the biggest opening day for an animated film and the second-biggest single-day behind the $47.1 million Saturday gross of Shrek the Third at that time. It holds the second-biggest opening-day and third-biggest single-day gross. Through its opening weekend, it earned a total of $115.7 million, which fell in line with the projections and marked the second-highest-grossing animated-movie opening of all time, at the time, only behind Shrek the Third $121.6 million. Albeit in terms of 3D, it is the highest. It also became the fourth film of 2015 to open more than $100 million the third by Universal and only one of four animated films ever to achieve this milestone, the other two being Toy Story 3 $110.3 million and Shrek 2 $108 million. In its second weekend, the film fell to No. 2 earning $49.3 million down 57% behind newcomer superhero film Ant-Man. It ended its theatrical run on December 17, 2015 playing for a total of 161 days on theaters with a total gross of $336.045.770, which is just 29.0% of its total worldwide gross. It became the second-highest-grossing animated film of 2015 behind Inside Out, the eight-highest-grossing animated film of all time, the second-highest-grossing film in the Despicable Me franchise behind Despicable Me 2, the third-highest-grossing Universal Pictures film of 2015, the sixth-highest-grossing film of 2015, the sixth-highest-grossing Universal Pictures film, and the thirteenth-highest-grossing film of all time.


5.3. Reception Outside the United States and Canada

Minions went into general release in 44 countries in the months of June and July, ahead, and along with, its US and Canadian release. It was released in a total of 66 countries. It earned an estimated $12.5 million in its opening weekend from four countries on 621 screens. It added $37.6 million in its second weekend from 10 countries. In its third weekend, it grossed $56.2 million from 26 countries, coming in second place at the international box office behind Terminator Genisys. It finally topped the international box office, earning $130.7 million from 56 countries in its fourth weekend. As of August 16, 2015, it is playing across 62 countries, landing in first place in 56 countries. In Australia and India it landed at No. 2 where Jurassic World and Baahubali: The Beginning both took the top spot respectively the weekend it was released in. It topped the box office for just one weekend, before Chinese film Monster Hunt surpassed it in its fifth weekend. It passed the $500 million mark internationally in five weeks and six days, faster than Despicable Me 2, which took fourteen weeks and three days to reach that milestone.

It had the biggest opening day of all time for an animated film in 16 countries, Universals biggest opening day of all time in 5 countries, Universals second-biggest opening day in Indonesia behind Furious 7, the second-biggest opening day of all time in Russia and the CIS $3.8 million, and the biggest opening day of all time for all films in Venezuela. Also, it set the record for the biggest opening weekend of all time in Venezuela $5.6 million, the biggest for an animated film in 29 countries including Italy $8.5 million, Brazil $7 million, Argentina $5.4 million, Portugal $1.2 million, Indonesia, and Malaysia, the second-biggest for an animated film in Peru with $1.9 million behind Ice Age: Continental Drift, the biggest for Universal in France $12.1 million and 6 other countries, the second-biggest opening of all time in Mexico $19.7 million and the third-biggest in Russia and the CIS $14.3 million. Albeit it is the biggest of all time in terms of admissions ahead of Furious 7. In the UK, Ireland, and Malta, the film received the widest release ever for an animated film - across 573 screens - and grossed $18.1 million £11.6 million, thus achieving the biggest-ever three-day opening for an animation in the UK. It topped the box office there for three weekends. Elsewhere, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and New Zealand all opened No. 1. Other notable openings were witnessed in Germany $9.8 million, South Korea $6.4 million, Japan $6 million, Spain $6 million, Australia $4.4 million, and Colombia $3.3 million. In China, it opened on Sunday, September 13 and earned $18.8 million on its opening day, marking the biggest opening day for an animated film ever in China; roughly 50% higher than the previous record held by Kung Fu Panda 2 this record was later broken by the series next instalment, Despicable Me 3 in 2017. It went on to earn $49.8 million through its 8-day opening Sunday to Sunday and $19.4 million for the weekend alone Friday to Sunday. It went into general releases for 30 days in China.

Minions became the highest-grossing animated film of all time in 12 markets, and Universals highest-grossing film of all time in six. As of July 26, it has become the most watched film of 2015 in Germany, with 4.42 million admissions surpassing even the 3.7 million admissions of Despicable Me 2. With nearly three million admissions and $22.35 million in box office revenue, Minions has become the highest-grossing film of 2015 in Italy and is the most viewed film in Italy this year. In Russia, it emerged as the second-highest-grossing film of all time with $33 million only behind Avatar. It opened in its last market Greece on September 24 earning $505.000, marking the second-biggest animated film opening there behind only Ice Age: Continental Drift. It grossed a total of $823.048.473 from overseas markets representing a huge 71.0% of its total worldwide gross with the United Kingdom and Ireland $73.1 million, China $67.9 million, and Germany $63.4 million being the largest markets. Outside North America, it is the highest-grossing film in the Despicable Me franchise, the eleventh-highest-grossing film, the third-highest-grossing Universal Pictures film and the fifth-highest-grossing film of 2015.


5.4. Reception Critical response

The review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a rating of 55%, based on 216 reviews, with an average rating of 5.74/10. The websites critical consensus reads, "The Minions brightly colored brand of gibberish-fueled insanity stretches to feature length in their self-titled Despicable Me spinoff, with uneven but often hilarious results." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 56 out of 100, based on 35 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". In CinemaScore polls, cinema audiences gave Minions an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.

Jesse Hassenger of The A.V. Club gave the film a C, saying Minions has idiosyncratic roots, but its a franchise play all the way. Finally, even 5-year-olds have their own movie that mechanically cashes in on something they loved when they were younger". Michael OSullivan of The Washington Post gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying, "I, too, once enjoyed the Minions, in the small doses that they came in. But the extra-strength Minions is, for better for worse, too much of a good thing". Brian Truitt of USA Today gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying, "Brian Lynchs screenplay features a series of amusing sight gags and physical comedy that mostly hits; watching the Minions play polo while riding Corgis is an exercise in cuteness". Tom Russo of The Boston Globe gave the film two out of four stars, saying, "Impressive as it is that the filmmakers get so much comedic mileage out of their characters half-intelligible prattling, the conventional dialogue is bafflingly flat". Manohla Dargis of The New York Times said, "While Minions explores nominally new narrative ground, it folds neatly into a series that now includes two features, various shorts, books, video games, sheet music and a theme park attraction. So, you know, different but also the same".

Tom Long of The Detroit News gave the film a B, saying Minions is every bit as cute as its supposed to be, a happily empty-headed animated frolic that rarely pauses to take a breath". Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the film two out four stars, saying, "Its not whether this prequel can mint money; thats a given. The questions is: Can the minions carry a movie all by their mischievous mini-selves? Fraid not". Kerry Lengel of The Arizona Republic gave the film two-and-a-half stars out of five, saying, "Despite the dizzying pace of carefully calibrated incongruities, Minions somehow never generates more than the occasional chuckle". Christopher Orr of The Atlantic said, "Theres plenty of high-velocity comic inanity on display to keep kids happily diverted. But the movies major flaw is an extension of its own premise: Search as they may, the minions never find a villain worthy of their subservience". James Berardinelli of ReelViews gave the film two-and-a-half stars out of four, saying, "Inconsistent and undisciplined, Minions is more an adjunct to marketing than a legitimate motion picture". Liam Lacey of The Globe and Mail gave the film two out of four stars, saying, "With its episodic stream of slapstick gags, Minions has moments of piquant absurdity, but mostly its shrill-but-cutesy anarchy works as a visual sugar rush for the preschool set".


6. Sequel

In January 2017, a sequel to the film, titled Minions: The Rise of Gru, was officially announced and scheduled to be released on July 3, 2020. It will be directed by Balda and Brad Ableson. The title was officially revealed in May 2019.