How Rise Of Gru Used TikTok To Become A Success

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Just over a week after its theatrical release, Minions: The Rise of Gru quickly became a smash hit, thanks to TikTok. Directed by Kyle Balda, Minions: The Rise of Gru serves as a sequel to the 2015 spin-off film Minions. While animated films typically take years to produce, the release of Rise of Gru was pushed back two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting temporary closure of its animation studio, Illumination. Be that as it may, the seven-year wait for Minions: The Rise of Gru turned out to be worth it, as the film broke box office records.

Reviews of the film have been generally positive, with most praising its humor and entertainment value for children. The soundtrack of Minions: The Rise of Gru, which is a compilation of contemporary artists performing 70s hits and produced by Grammy Award winner Jack Antonoff, has also been recognized by its viewers. However, some reviewers point to the rather simplistic plot of Rise of Gru compared to its predecessor. Nevertheless, this feedback has certainly not affected the commercial performance of the Despicable Me hall.

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Almost immediately after its premiere, Minions: The Rise of Gru has been the subject of several trends on the short-form video-sharing service TikTok. This immense social media popularity instantly translated into record box office numbers, further proving that digital marketing in the entertainment industry can definitely make or break movies. Here’s an explanation of how the Super Bowl record Minions: The Rise of Gru exploited the expansive influence of Tiktok to its advantage.

What is the minion cult?


Profile picture of Kevin, Stuart, Bob and the Minion Cult on TikTok

Tiktok has been home to extremely popular trending, challenging, and viral content over the past few years; as such, it continues to gain and retain millions of users. A trend that constantly appears in the app involves its members joining a “worship“, but while the word “worship“induces feelings of fear or negativity, TikTok cults are basically harmless. They only require their members to have the same profile pictures and display names, which are often tied to a specific meme or fanbase. Previous TikTok cults include Hamster Cult and Lana Cult, which forced their members to change their profile pictures to the Staring Hamster meme and American singer Lana del Rey’s smiling selfie with a burning car in the background, respectively.


The popularity of these adorable yellow creatures native to Despicable Me films spawned another cult on the online platform, the Minion Cult. TikTok users wishing to participate in this trend should replace their profile photos with the same image of a person dressed as a Minion holding the sun, which can easily be achieved by capturing a video that features the photo in full. They must also include something Minions-related in their display names, follow other cult members, and flood the comment sections of relevant clips with the banana emoji, symbolizing the Minions’ favorite snack. This move has seen TikTok users report impressive follower gain and engagement overnight, encouraging more people to follow the trend.


How Yeat’s ‘Rich Minion’ Song Sparked the TikTok Minions Craze


Minions Rise of Gru streaming

The TikTok craze surrounding the second Minionswho won Light year at the box office dates back to Yeat’s song “Rich Minion”. The catchy three-minute collab, which plays in the background of viral music videos and even in actual theaters, doesn’t just feature the 22-year-old American rapper’s vocals. It also includes real Minions singing nonsensical but hilarious words, such as “Bastichi, papaya, potato.The song also sees Yeat calling the Minions his children before boasting of counting the millions he received from the song. Because of this, although he is not actually part of the Minions: The Rise of Gru official soundtrack, “Rich Minion” quickly became an Internet phenomenon.


RELATED: Does Minions: The Rise Of Gru Have A Scene After The Credits?

Illumination first approached Lyrical Lemonade founder Cole Bennett to create a suitable song for the Minions trailer. Through Bennett’s professional relationship with Yeat, a collaboration was created. Yeat, who gained popularity on TikTok for his songs including “Gët Busy”, has already established a solid following. This, combined with the presence of favorite Minions online, is surely a recipe for virality.

The GentleMinions Trend Explained: Why People Wear Costumes To See Rise Of Gru


Wild Knuckles from Minions: Rise of Gru

On June 28, 2022, Australian teenager Bill Hirst posted a TikTok video of him and his friends wearing costumes at a Minions: The Rise of Gru screening. The clip, which featured Yeat’s “Rich Minion” in the background, showed young men dressed in formal wear lining up in the theater, watching the film with their fingers crossed and loudly applauding the Illumination logo. Hirst said the idea came from the suggestion of other TikTokers, but their nostalgia for the Despicable Me the franchise pushed them to do so. Their clothing choice also referenced Gru’s signature dark suit seen throughout the films. Over the 4th of July weekend, the Tiktok video went viral and at the time of writing has already amassed over 35 million views and almost 9 million likes.


The trend then inspired teenagers – called GentleMinions – to do the same. Unfortunately, some theaters have reported disruptive behavior from these GentleMinions, with some moshing in front of the screen and others sneaking in hundreds of pounds of bananas and throwing them inside the theater. What started out as a harmless joke that capitalized on the ridiculousness of seeing an animated film in fancy dress has become heartbreaking for some viewers unaware of the recent craze.

How much is Minions: Gru’s Rise of Success Through Social Media?


minions 2 box office

Thanks to the pervasive influence of social media, Minions: The Rise of Gru achieved box office success. In just one week, the film has already grossed $258.3 million worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing animated film of 2022 to date. With a total of $123.1 million over its weekend four-day opening, Rise of Gru exceeded its box office projections and even broke the Independence Day weekend record, surpassing 2011 Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon. In international markets, particularly Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Venezuela, the film had the biggest opening weekend for an animated film in history. While this record commercial success of Minions: The Rise of Gru A lot of it can be attributed to the circulating TikTok trends, it’s also due to Minions’ constantly active social media team and the awesome collaborations the studio has done with popular brands and influencers.


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