Minions (film)

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Minions
Minions poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Produced by
Written by Brian Lynch
Starring
Narrated by Geoffrey Rush
Music by Heitor Pereira[1]
Edited by Claire Dodgson
Production
company
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date
  • June 11, 2015 (2015-06-11) (London premiere)[2]
  • July 10, 2015 (2015-07-10) (United States)[3]
Running time
91 minutes[4]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $74 million[5][6]
Box office $1.159 billion[7]

Minions is a 2015 American 3D computer-animated comedy film,[8] 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.[9] The film stars the voices of Coffin (as the Minions, including: Kevin, Stuart and Bob), 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 (2013), where Kevin, Stuart, and Bob, three of the Minions, are seen auditioning for the film.[10]

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.[11] Critical response was mixed: some critics praised the comedic aspects of the film and the performances of Bullock and Hamm,[12] while also 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 11th highest-grossing film of all time, the 2nd highest-grossing animated film, and the highest-grossing non-Disney animated film.[13] A sequel is announced to be released on July 3, 2020.[14]

Plot[edit]

Minions are small, yellow creatures who have existed since the beginning of time, evolving from single-celled organisms into beings who exist only to serve history's most despicable masters.[15] After serving a great many masters over the centuries (though they accidentally kill their masters most of the time), and a disastrous end to their service to Napoleon, the Minions are driven into isolation and decide to start a new life in a massive cave in the Arctic. 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 Minion and Bob, a young and inexperienced but enthusiastic Minion, are recruited.

The trio journey to New York where 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 discover a hidden commercial broadcast for villains advertising Villain-Con; a convention for villains and supervillains in Orlando. The trio manage to hitchhike a ride with a family of villains called the Nelsons and impress them with their accidental villainy. Once at the convention, they see Scarlet Overkill, the first female supervillain, and they impress her enough for her to hire them. As Scarlet takes the Minions to her home in England, Kevin contacts the other Minions, who later find a yeti and claim him as their new boss, but accidentally kill the leader yeti, when a minion plays the tuba, and are chased out of their cave by the other yeti. They make their way to England to find Kevin, Bob, and Stuart.

At her home, Scarlet explains the plan to steal the Imperial State Crown from the Queen of England and promises to reward the Minions if they successfully steal it, threatening that she will kill them if they don't. 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 highly publicized chase that ends with Bob crashing into the Sword in the Stone and pulling it free, removing the Queen of England from the throne and becoming King Bob of England. Enraged by this, Scarlet confronts the Minions, and Bob abdicates in her favor. Undeterred because she feels betrayed, Scarlet imprisons the three in a dungeon to be tortured by Herb before her coronation, but afterwards, they are left alone and escape with the intention to apologize to Scarlet.

Making their way to Westminster Abbey, the three of them interrupt the coronation by accidentally dropping a chandelier on Scarlet, who immediately orders their execution. Dozens of villains chase them and Bob and Stuart are caught while Kevin finds his way into a pub. He sees Scarlet on a television, promising that she will kill Stuart and Bob if Kevin doesn't show up by dawn. Kevin sneaks into Scarlet's home to steal weapons, but inadvertently triggers a machine Herb was building and enlarges himself. He tramples through London, rescuing his friends just as the other Minions reunite with them. Scarlet tries to eradicate them, but Kevin swallows a massive missile she fires at them. Scarlet and Herb attempt to escape with her rocket-dress, but Kevin holds onto it. The missile detonates, apparently killing Kevin and the Overkills. After the Minions briefly mourn him, Kevin reappears, having returned to his normal size.

The original Queen from the earlier part of the story receives her place on the throne and crown back and rewards Bob with a tiny crown for his teddy bear and Stuart an electric guitar (later replaced by a snow globe after an over-enthusiastic Stuart breaks the guitar), and she knights Kevin for his heroism. She suddenly realizes that her crown is missing, and Kevin leads a chase after Scarlet and Herb, who are revealed to be alive and are fleeing through the crowd with the bejeweled crown until they are suddenly frozen in place by a young Gru, who steals the crown from them and takes off in a rocket-powered motorbike while the Minions stare in awe. Bob gives his crown to the frozen Scarlet, as the Minions see Gru as their new potential master and give chase to follow him home.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

In July 2012, Universal Studios and Illumination Entertainment announced that the Minions from Despicable Me would get their own spin-off film, then planned for a 2014 release.[27] Brian Lynch, previously known for co-writing another Illumination film, Hop (2011), as well as DreamWorks' Puss in Boots (2011), was asked to write the film's screenplay, due to his prior work writing for the theme park ride Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem.[28]

On August 21, 2012, it was announced that the film would be released on December 19, 2014.[29] In February 2013, Sandra Bullock joined the cast to voice Scarlet Overkill,[17] with Jon Hamm joining two months later as her husband Herb Overkill.[18] On September 20, 2013, the film's release date was pushed back from December 19, 2014, to July 10, 2015,[30] due to Universal's satisfaction with the successful July 2013 release of Despicable Me 2[31] and desire to exploit fully the merchandising potential of a summer film.[30]

Soundtrack[edit]

Minions: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Film score by Heitor Pereira
Released July 10, 2015
Recorded 2015
Genre Score
Length 67:11
Label Back Lot Music
Heitor Pereira film scores chronology
Curious George 3: Back to the Jungle
(2015)
Minions
(2015)
The Angry Birds Movie
(2016)

The official soundtrack for the film was released on July 10, 2015, by Back Lot Music. The soundtrack also features the film's original music, composed by Heitor Pereira.[32] The only minion not to receive a character music is Stuart, though individual soundtracks focusing on him appears on all songs.

Track listing[edit]

All music composed by Heitor Pereira, except where noted.

No. Title Writer(s) Performer Length
1. "Universal Fanfare" Jerry Goldsmith The Minions (Pierre Coffin) 0:32
2. "Happy Together" Garry Bonner, Alan Gordon The Turtles 2:54
3. "I'm a Man" Steve Winwood, Jimmy Miller The Spencer Davis Group 3:05
4. "You Really Got Me" Ray Davies The Kinks 2:14
5. "My Generation" Pete Townshend The Who 3:16
6. "Mellow Yellow" Donovan Donovan 3:41
7. "Revolution (The Beatles)" John Lennon & Paul McCartney The Minions (Pierre Coffin) 2:22
8. "Minions Through Time"     4:34
9. "Kevin, Stuart and Bob"     2:57
10. "Minions Run Amok"     1:29
11. "Tortellini"     0:21
12. "The VNC"     1:11
13. "Minions in the U.S.A."     2:13
14. "Orlando"     0:46
15. "Scarlet Overkill"     1:07
16. "Ruby Fight"     2:58
17. "Make 'Em Laugh" Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed The Minions (Pierre Coffin) 0:44
18. "Scarlet's Fortress"     3:31
19. "Traveling Tribe"     0:49
20. "Tower of London"     1:39
21. "Hair" James Rado, Gerome Ragni The Minions (Pierre Coffin) 0:54
22. "Fighting the Crown Keeper"     1:43
23. "King Bob"     0:57
24. "Theme From The Monkees (The Monkees)" Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart The Minions (Pierre Coffin) 0:29
25. "Dungeon Mayhem"     0:35
26. "Goodbye Fabrice"     2:28
27. "Minion Mission"     4:56
28. "Sneaking In"     2:34
29. "King Kong Kevin"     3:30
30. "Our Hero Is Back"     1:14
31. "Minions Victory"     2:49
32. "Greatest Renegade Unveiling (GRU)"     2:39
Total length: 67:11

Release[edit]

The film had its premiere on June 11, 2015, at Odeon Leicester Square in London, United Kingdom.[2] On June 17, 2015, it was released theatrically in Indonesia and Australia.[33] The next day, June 18, saw releases in Malaysia and Singapore,[33] and a screening at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, in France.[34] 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,[35] and went into general release theatrically on July 10, 2015.[3] It was released in China on September 13.[36]

Marketing[edit]

The first trailer for Minions was released by Illumination on November 3, 2014, through YouTube.[37] McDonald's released Minions-related Happy Meals on July 3, 2015.[38][39] A series of comics and graphic novels based on the film is being published by Titan Comics.[40] The series includes four comic book issues, two digest collections, two hardcover editions and a paperback collection.[40] 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.[40][41] In April 2015, Pantone announced the creation of a new official Pantone color, 'Minion Yellow' (displayed at right), in partnership with Illumination Entertainment.[42]

Universal's parent company, Comcast, and its partners spent $593 million in advertisements and promotion across all media and platforms.[43] Universal spent a total of $26.1 million on TV advertisement for the film.[44] Universal described the promotional campaign as the "largest and most comprehensive" in its history.[45]

Home media[edit]

Minions was released on Blu-ray (2D and 3D) and DVD 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.[46]

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 Disc sales chart with 63% of unit sales coming from Blu-ray.[47]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

Minions grossed $336 million in North America and $821.2 million in other territories for a worldwide total of over $1.157 billion.[7] Worldwide, it is the fifth highest-grossing film of 2015,[48] the highest-grossing animated film of 2015, the second highest-grossing animated film, the 11th highest-grossing film, and the third highest-grossing film released by Universal Pictures. It topped the worldwide box office for three consecutive weekends.[49]

By breaking $1 billion worldwide, Minions became the first non-Disney animated film, the third animated film ever after Toy Story 3 and Frozen, and the 23rd film in cinematic history to do so.[50] 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.[13] Deadline.com 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 that year and the second most profitable picture of that year overall, behind only Star Wars: The Force Awakens.[51]

North America[edit]

Universal Studios Florida's entrance with Minions - 13 July 2015

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).[52] 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.[5][6][53][54] 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),[55][56][57][58] 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.[59] But now, it holds the second biggest opening day and third biggest single-day gross.[60] Through its opening weekend, it earned a total of $115.7 million, which fell in line with the projections and marked the second-highest 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).[61][62] In its second weekend, the film fell to No. 2 earning $49.3 million (down 57%) behind newcomer superhero film Ant-Man.[63] 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.[7] It became the second highest-grossing animated film of 2015 (behind Inside Out),[64] the eight highest-grossing animated film of all time,[64] the second highest-grossing film in the Despicable Me franchise (behind Despicable Me 2),[65] the third highest-grossing Universal Pictures film of 2015,[65] the sixth highest-grossing film of 2015,[66] the sixth highest-grossing Universal Pictures film,[65] and the thirty-seventh highest-grossing film of all time.[67]

Outside North America[edit]

Minions went into general release in 44 countries in the months of June and July, ahead, and along with, its North American release.[68] It was released in a total of 66 countries.[69] It earned an estimated $12.5 million in its opening weekend from four countries on 621 screens.[70] It added $37.6 million in its second weekend from 10 countries.[71] In its third weekend, it grossed $56.2 million from 26 countries, coming in second place at the international box office behind Terminator Genisys.[72] It finally topped the international box office, earning $130.7 million from 56 countries in its fourth weekend.[73] As of August 16, 2015, it is playing across 62 countries, landing in first place in 56 countries.[74] 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.[73][75] It topped the box office for just one weekend, before Chinese film Monster Hunt surpassed it in its fifth weekend.[76] 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.[75]

It had the biggest opening day of all time for an animated film in 16 countries,[69][77][78][79] Universal's biggest opening day of all time in 5 countries,[69] Universal's second-biggest opening day in Indonesia (behind Furious 7),[68] the second biggest opening day of all time in Russia and the CIS ($3.8 million),[79] and the biggest opening day of all time for all films in Venezuela.[69] Also, it set the record for the biggest opening weekend of all-time in Venezuela ($5.6 million),[73] 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,[70][71][73][75][80] 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.[49][73][75] 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.[71] It topped the box office there for three weekends.[81] Elsewhere, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and New Zealand all opened No. 1.[71] 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).[70][72][82] 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.[83] It went on to earn $49.8 million through its 8-day opening (Sunday to Sunday)[84] and $19.4 million for the weekend alone (Friday to Sunday).[85] It went into general releases for 30 days in China.[83]

Minions became the highest-grossing animated film of all time in 12 markets,[86] and Universal's highest-grossing film of all time in six.[87] 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).[88] With nearly 3 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.[89] In Russia, it emerged as the second highest-grossing film of all time with $33 million only behind Avatar.[90] 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.[49][75] It grossed a total of $823,048,473 from overseas markets representing a huge 71.0% of its total worldwide gross[7] with the United Kingdom and Ireland ($73.1 million), China ($67.9 million) and Germany ($63.4 million) being the largest markets.[91] 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.[92]

Critical response[edit]

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a rating of 56%, based on 197 reviews, with an average rating of 5.8/10. The site's 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".[93] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 56 out of 100, based on 35 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[11] In CinemaScore polls, cinema audiences gave Minions an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.[61]

Jesse Hassenger of The A.V. Club gave the film a C, saying "Minions has idiosyncratic roots, but it's 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".[94] Michael O'Sullivan 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 or for worse, too much of a good thing".[95] Brian Truitt of USA Today gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying "Brian Lynch's 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".[96] Tom Russo of The Boston Globe gave the film two out 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".[97] 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".[98]

Tom Long of The Detroit News gave the film a B, saying "Minions is every bit as cute as it's supposed to be, a happily empty-headed animated frolic that rarely pauses to take a breath".[99] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the film two out four stars, saying "It's not whether this prequel can mint money; that's a given. The questions is: Can the minions carry a movie all by their mischievous mini-selves? 'Fraid not".[100] 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".[101] Christopher Orr of The Atlantic said, "There's plenty of high-velocity comic inanity on display to keep kids happily diverted. But the movie's major flaw is an extension of its own premise: Search as they may, the minions never find a villain worthy of their subservience".[102] 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".[103] 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".[104]

Accolades[edit]

Awards
Award Category Winner/Nominee Result
People's Choice Awards[105] Favorite Movie Animated Voice Sandra Bullock Nominated
Favorite Family Film Won
British Academy Film Awards[106] Best Animated Film Pierre Coffin & Kyle Balda Nominated
Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Animated Movie Nominated
Favorite Voice From an Animated Movie Sandra Bullock Nominated
Saturn Awards[107] Best Animated Film Nominated
Empire Awards[108][109] Best Animated Film Nominated
Village Voice Film Poll[110] Best Animated Feature 9th Place

Sequel[edit]

In January 2017, a sequel to the film, titled Minions 2, was scheduled to be released on July 3, 2020.[14]

References[edit]

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