'Minions: Rise of Gru' Smashes Fourth of July Box Office Record with $125M Opening

Minions: Rise of Gru earned the Independence Day weekend record after beating the previous record holder: 2011's Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon

Minions: The Rise of Gru
Minions: The Rise of Gru (2022). Photo: Illumination

Minions: The Rise of Gru is making it big at the box office.

After the movie's premiere on July 1, the Illumination and Universal hit made $125.1M during the weekend, earning an Independence Day 4-day opening record according to Deadline.

The premiere marked the second best ever opening in all of the Despicable Me/Minions franchise, losing only to 2015's Minions, the outlet reported.

Rise of Gru overtook the Independence Day weekend record from the 2011 film Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon, which did $115.88M in its Friday-Monday stretch, the TODAY show reports

In the new Minions prequel, Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) is a 12-year-old boy growing up in the 1970s who declares, "There are a lot of other villains in the world, but I am going to be a supervillain."

The trailer for the movie, released in March, shows Gru's early attempts to gain power as Eminem's "Lose Yourself" plays in the background. The young criminal is then kidnapped and says, "My Minions will save me!"

Gru's Minion followers Kevin, Stuart and Bob are back — and a new Minion is introduced: Otto, who has braces and "a desperate need to please," per a press release. Pierre Coffin supplies the voices for the Minions.

Aside from Carell, 59, and Coffin, 55, Rise of Gru's voice cast includes Julie Andrews as Gru's mother, plus Alan Arkin as Wild Knuckles, who becomes a mentor of sorts for Gru.

The evil Vicious 6 consists of Taraji P. Henson as Belle Bottom, Jean-Claude Van Damme as Jean Clawed, Lucy Lawless as Nunchuck, Dolph Lundgren as Svengeance and Danny Trejo as Stronghold. Russell Brand and Michelle Yeoh also lend their voices to the animated film.

Additionally, the movie's 1970s-inspired soundtrack comes from Grammy-winning music producer Jack Antonoff.

Minions: The Rise of Gru
Minions: The Rise of Gru (2022). Illumination

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There have so far been three Despicable Me movies (in 2010, 2013 and 2017) plus the first Minions movie (in 2015).

The first trailer for Minions: The Rise of Gru previously dropped back in February 2020. The movie was originally intended to debut in July that year, but when the onset of the pandemic shut many places down, the studio postponed the film, as their studio in Paris had been forced to close that March.

"This means we will be unable to finish Minions: The Rise of Gru in time for our planned global releases in late June and early July," Chris Meledandri, CEO of Illumination, said in a statement at the time. "While we all grapple with the enormity of this crisis, we must put the safety and protection of our employees above all."

Added Meledandri, "We look forward to finding a new release date for the return of Gru and the Minions."

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