Minions topped the US and Canada box office in its opening weekend, with the second-biggest debut for an animated film.
The Despicable Me spin-off took $115.2 million. It was second only to 2007’s Shrek the Third, beating the opening of all of the Toy Story movies.
Jurassic World dropped to second in its fifth week with $18.1 million.
Disney Pixar’s Inside Out took $17.1 million in its fourth week in US cinemas.
Minions, which features the voices of Sandra Bullock and Jon Hamm, puts the spotlight on the babbling yellow, pill-shaped servants from the two Despicable Me films as they search for a new master.
Directed by Peter Coffin, who also voices the Minions, it topped the box office in 29 of the other 30 countries where it opened, according to box office tracker Rentrak, including France, Mexico and Russia.
“Given that they seek to work for the most evil people on the planet, they give off this incredible happiness,” said Universal’s Duncan Clark on the Minions‘ success.
“I think the quality they’re proving to have is a common denominator appeal across all cultures.”
Universal is planning to release Despicable Me 3 in the summer of 2017.
Several other new films debuted in the top 10, including ad-libbed high-school horror movie The Gallows, in fifth place with $10 million.
Sharing the hand-held camera technique made famous by 1999’s The Blair Witch Project, the film comes from the production company behind the Paranormal Activity and Insidious franchises.
Ryan Reynolds’ new sci-fi thriller Self/less – about a near-death billionaire who transmits himself into a younger body – was at number eight with $5.4 million.
Sandra Bullock has joined Despicable Me‘s lovable, pill-shaped creatures the minions – as they take centre stage with their own movie spin-off, Minions.
Seventeen years ago, Sandra Bullock starred in an animated movie, lending her voice to Moses’ sister Miriam in Disney’s Prince of Egypt.
When asked about her decision to join the cast of Minions, she said: “My son. I wanted to do something that he could see, that I was in.”
Sandra Bullock has an adopted son called Louis, who travelled with her to London ahead of the movie’s world premiere.
She gushes that her 5-year-old son loves physical humor and animation, and because she loves to hear him laugh, joining Minions was a no-brainer.
Minions is a spin-off prequel to Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2. The latter alone took $970.8 million at the worldwide box office.
In Minions, it transpires the yellow creatures have actually been serving despicable masters since time began, from dinosaurs to vampires – but because of their accident-prone ways, they have been completely unsuccessful at keeping their jobs.
Without a master to serve, they are driven into a depression, before one of the more proactive minions, Kevin, hatches a plan to find someone new to work for.
Along with fellow minions Stuart and Bob, they head to a villain convention which leads them to their next potential master – Sandra Bullock’s Scarlet Overkill, the world’s first-ever female super-villain.
Scarlet Overkill proves a contrast to Sandra Bullock’s usual roles, which have given her the reputation of America’s sweetheart.
Pierre Coffin not only directs the film but also voices the entire minion population, including Kevin, Stuart and Bob.
His “Minion-ese” – a mixture of languages including French, English, Italian and Spanish – is a huge part of the movie’s charm.
Pierre Coffin and co-director Kyle Balda said they had a lot of fun directing their role call of guest stars including Jennifer Saunders, Steve Coogan, Michael Keaton and Mad Men star John Hamm – who Sandra Bullock describes as “delicious”.
The appeal of the minions is apparently unbounded, with Universal already confirming Despicable Me 3 will be released in June 2017.
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