Viral 'Gentleminions' TikTok Trend Led to Opening Weekend Chaos
by Payton Dunn
05 July 2022
Minions: The Rise of Gru is rising up the box office ranks, all thanks to a lighthearted TikTok trend, but some movie theaters are less than thrilled about the unwanted customer base it’s brought along with it and have started barring customers wearing formal attire from entering screenings, most notably in the UK.
\u201cThoroughly entertained by this sign @ODEONCinemas and then saw a bunch of kids in suits refused entry! #gentleminions\u201d— \ud835\udd3e\ud835\udd5a\ud835\udd5d\ud835\udd5d \ud835\udd3b\ud835\udd66\ud835\udd55\ud835\udd64 (@\ud835\udd3e\ud835\udd5a\ud835\udd5d\ud835\udd5d \ud835\udd3b\ud835\udd66\ud835\udd55\ud835\udd64) 1656858047
The bans are a result of the “Gentleminions” trend on TikTok and Twitter, in which groups of men get dressed to the nines in suits and ties as they venture on their way to see the memeable kids’ film, with many partaking in a sacred dinner off of IHOP’s brand new Minions menu to truly wrap up the moviegoing experience in the most post-ironic corporate way possible.
\u201cMovie studios must be going fucking insane because people deliberately did not see Morbius due to memes and crowds of people are seeing minions due to memes\u201d— Ninth Annual Dallas Mower Expo (@Ninth Annual Dallas Mower Expo) 1656800617
The “Gentleminions” videos are typically underscored by the beautifully repetitious banger “Rich Minion” by popular underground rapper Yeat, which debuted last week alongside an action-packed trailer for the film on the Lyrical Lemonade YouTube channel to many memes of its own, despite the fact that it never actually appeared in the film itself.
\u201cLMFAOOOO\u201d— reverb on master killguap.com ceo (@reverb on master killguap.com ceo) 1656649832
While many of the trend-partakers have been nice young Gentleminions that have been perfectly kind to the staff and movie patrons alike — having just been excited to see the film after the arduously long 5-year wait — a smaller group has been a little more devious, with some screaming while in the theater, throwing bananas at the screen and even opening up full-on mosh-pits down by the screen.
Gru would be proud of the supervillain-like schemes some of the more ambitious Gentleminions have cooked up to cause chaos while in the theater.
Certain screenings got so rowdy that everyone was kicked out by the staff, with the police even being called on some of them. Disgruntled movie theater employees have taken to TikTok to voice their frustrations.
The rage has even extended all the way over to IHOP, where employees are less than thrilled to host the customers coming for the Minions meal brand partnership.
Somehow, the trend progressed so rapidly over the course of the weekend that it spawned its own spin-off trend of people mocking the Gentleminions, sympathizing with what movie theater and IHOP employees have had to go through since the film’s debut on Friday.
Even though employees aren’t absolutely bananas about the unwanted attention the trend has brought, the press generated by the memes has admittedly become a successful marketing tactic for the movie studio, with Minions: The Rise of Gru having had the biggest 4th of July opening weekend of all time, making $125 million since its theatrical release on Friday. Somehow, the free promotion has become the crowned-jewel of a $285 million marketing plan.
We’re all here for that energy, and if the 156,600 videos created under “Rich Minion” are any indication, it’s here to stay. The world is truly in the peak of its Minion fever right now, and much to the chagrin of the employees who have to deal with its chaotic ramifications, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
Photo via Getty/ Araya Doheny/ FilmMagic