Minions (film)

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Minions
Minions poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Written byBrian Lynch
Produced by
Starring
Narrated byGeoffrey Rush
Edited byClaire Dodgson
Music byHeitor Pereira
Production
company
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
Running time
91 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$74 million[2]
Box office$1.159 billion[3]

Minions is a 2015 American computer-animated comedy film produced by Illumination Entertainment and distributed by Universal Pictures. It is the spin-off prequel[a] and the third installment overall in the Despicable Me franchise. Directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda, written by Brian Lynch, and produced by Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy, 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, Jennifer Saunders, and is narrated by Geoffrey Rush.

Minions debuted in London on June 11, 2015, and was released in the United States on July 10. The film received mixed reviews from critics, but was a solid success at the box office earning $1.159 billion worldwide, and became the fifth highest-grossing film of 2015, the 10th highest-grossing film of all time, and the second highest-grossing animated film of all time during its theatrical run. A sequel, Minions: The Rise of Gru, is scheduled to be released in July 2022.

Plot[edit]

Minions are small, yellow creatures who have existed since the beginning of time, evolving from yellow single-celled organisms into beings which exist only to serve history's most evil masters, but they accidentally end up killing all their masters —including a Tyrannosaurus, a caveman, a Pharaoh, and Count Dracula.— They are driven into isolation after firing a cannon at Napoleon while in Russia and start a new life inside a cave, but after many years, the Minions become sad and unmotivated without a master to serve. To regain their dignity and sense of purpose, a minion named Kevin recruits two Minions called Stuart and Bob, setting out to look for a new master.

In 1968, the three journey to New York City, where they end up in a department store for the night, and accidentally discover a hidden commercial broadcast for villains advertising Villain-Con; a convention for all villains and supervillains in Orlando. The next day they manage to hitchhike a ride with the Nelsons, a family of thieves. At the convention, they see Scarlet Overkill, an incredibly famous and popular supervillainess who unexpectedly hires them and takes them to her home in London. They phone the rest of the Minions to get them to join. Scarlet plans to steal the Imperial State Crown from Queen Elizabeth II and promises to reward the Minions if they steal it, and kill them if they do not. 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. The chase leads to Bob accidentally crashing into the Sword in the Stone by pulling it free to defend himself and his friends, causing Bob to remove the Queen from the throne and become King. Enraged that someone else accomplished her dream of stealing the throne, Scarlet confronts the Minions, so Bob abdicates the throne in her favor. Undeterred, Scarlet imprisons the three in a dungeon before her coronation and Herb attempts to torture the trio, but they escape with the intention to apologize to Scarlet.

After making their way to Westminster Abbey, Stuart and Bob interrupt the coronation by inadvertently dropping a chandelier on Scarlet, who survives the falling fixture and orders their execution. Stuart and Bob are captured by other villains, while Kevin hides in a pub. He sees Scarlet on television, promising that she will kill Stuart and Bob if Kevin does not show up by dawn. With the villains still searching for him, Kevin sneaks into Scarlet's castle to steal weapons, and accidentally triggers a machine Herb was building and grows into a gigantic Minion. Kevin tramples through London, rescues his friends and battles Scarlet just as the other Minions turn up in London. Scarlet tries to eradicate them by firing a massive missile, but Kevin swallows it. Scarlet and Herb attempt to escape with her rocket dress only for Kevin to hold onto it and get pulled into the sky. The missile finally explodes, seemingly killing Kevin, Scarlet, and Herb. As the Minions mourn the loss of their leader, Kevin survives and returns to his normal size.

The Queen gets her throne and crown back. She rewards Bob with a tiny crown for his teddy bear Tim, Stuart with an electric guitar, and Kevin with a knighthood. The still alive Scarlet and Herb steal the crown again, but a young Gru uses a freeze ray on them and flees with the crown on a rocket-powered motorbike. The Minions run after him, deciding he is the boss they were looking for.

Voice cast[edit]

Director Pierre Coffin, who also voices the Minions.

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment first announced in July 2012, that the Minions from the franchise would get their own spin-off film, scheduled for a 2014 release.[4] Brian Lynch was asked to write the film's screenplay, due to his prior work writing for the theme park ride Despicable Me Minion Mayhem.[14] Pierre Coffin became director again with newcomer Kyle Balda as the co-director, marking the first film in the franchise where Chris Renaud is not a director. Eric Guillon returned for the film but was not an art director, as he was the character and production designer for the film.

Casting[edit]

In February 2013, Sandra Bullock joined the cast to voice Scarlet Overkill,[5] with Jon Hamm joining two months later as her husband Herb Overkill.[10] In March 2015, Allison Janney was reported to cast as Madge Nelson.[12] Pierre Coffin, the film's director, reprised his role as the Minions. This is one of the films in the franchise in which Coffin is the sole actor and the first film where Chris Renaud doesn't serve as a director, but an executive producer. Kyle Balda served as an co-director along with Coffin. Jennifer Saunders was cast in order to voice Queen Elizabeth II

Music[edit]

Minions: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Film score by
ReleasedJuly 10, 2015
Recorded2015
StudioTwentieth Century Fox Newman Scoring Stage in Los Angeles, CA
EastWest Studios in Los Angeles, CA
GenreScore
Length67:11
LabelBack Lot Music
Heitor Pereira film scores chronology
Curious George 3: Back to the Jungle
(2015)
Minions: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
(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.[15][16]

All music is composed by Heitor Pereira.

Track listing
No.TitleWriter(s)PerformerLength
1."Universal Fanfare"Jerry Goldsmith, Brian Tyler (arrangement)The Minions (Pierre Coffin)0:32
2."Happy Together"Garry Bonner, Alan GordonThe Turtles2:54
3."I'm a Man"Steve Winwood, Jimmy MillerThe Spencer Davis Group3:05
4."You Really Got Me"Ray DaviesThe Kinks2:14
5."My Generation"Pete TownshendThe Who3:16
6."Mellow Yellow"DonovanDonovan3:41
7."Revolution (The Beatles)"John Lennon & Paul McCartneyThe 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 FreedThe 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 RagniThe 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 HartThe 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

Marketing[edit]

Bloomberg News estimated the media value was $593 million, which Comcast and its partners spent on that.[17] Television advertisements of the film were spent at $26.1 million.[18] Universal described the film's promotional campaign as the "largest and most comprehensive" in its history.[19]

A series of comics and graphic novels based on the film were published by Titan Comics.[20] The series included four comic book issues, two digest collections, two hardcover editions, and a paperback collection.[20] Drawn by Didier Ah-koon and Renaud Collin, the series launched in June, with the release of the first issue of the Minions comic book and the first digest collection.[20] In April 2015, Pantone announced the creation of a new official Pantone color, 'Minion Yellow', in partnership with Illumination.[21] McDonald's released a promotion for a toy set offered in their Happy Meals for the film between June and July.[22][23]

Release[edit]

Theatrical[edit]

Minions debuted at the Odeon Leicester Square in London on June 11, 2015,[24] followed by a premiere on June 27, at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.[25] Minions was originally scheduled to be released on December 19, 2014,[26] but in September 2013, the film was pushed back to July 10, 2015 due to Universal's satisfaction with the successful release of Despicable Me 2 (2013) and desire to exploit fully the merchandising potential of Minions.[27][28]

Home media[edit]

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment released Minions on Blu-ray and DVD on December 8, 2015.[29] Physical copies contain three short films: Cro Minion, Competition, and Binky Nelson Unpacified.[30] 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 sales chart with 63% of unit sales coming from Blu-ray.[31]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

Minions earned $336 million in the United States and Canada and $823.4 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $1.159 billion,[3] making it the fifth highest-grossing film of 2015,[32] the 10th highest-grossing film of all time,[33] and the second highest-grossing animated film of all time.[34] On August 28, 2015, Minions passed the $1 billion mark at the worldwide box office, becoming the third animated film to cross that milestone after Toy Story 3 (2010) and Frozen (2013).[35] Deadline Hollywood calculated the net profit of the film to be $502.34 million, accounting for production budgets, marketing, talent participations, and other costs, with box office grosses, and ancillary revenues from home media, placing it second on their list of 2015's "Most Valuable Blockbusters".[2]

Released alongside The Gallows and Self/less on July 10, 2015, Minions made $46 million on its first day,[36] including $6.2 million from Thursday night previews.[37] It went on to debut with $115.2 million[38] from 4,301 theaters.[36] Its second weekend saw the box office drop by 57% to $50.2 million,[39] and Minions grossed another $22 million the following weekend.[40] Minions completed its theatrical run in the United States and Canada on December 17, 2015.[41]

Worldwide, Minions debuted in 44 markets on June 18, 2015,[42] and later a total of 66 countries by July 11.[43] The film earned $12.5 million in its opening weekend from four countries,[44] and in its second, Minions made $37.6 million in 10 markets.[45] The film's top international markets were the United Kingdom ($73.1 million), China ($63.47 million), and Germany ($63.46 million).[46]

Critical response[edit]

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, Minions holds an approval rating of 55% based on 222 reviews, with an average rating of 5.8/10. Its 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."[47] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 56 out of 100 based on 35 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[48] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.[49]

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".[50] 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".[51] 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".[52] Tom Russo of The Boston Globe gave the film two stars out of four, 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".[53] 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".[54]

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".[55] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the film two stars out of four, 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".[56] 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".[57] 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".[58] Liam Lacey of The Globe and Mail gave the film two stars out of four, 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".[6]

Accolades[edit]

Award Category Recipients Result
People's Choice Awards[59] Favorite Movie Animated Voice Sandra Bullock Nominated
Favorite Family Film Minions Won
British Academy Film Awards[60] Best Animated Film Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda Nominated
Kids' Choice Awards[61] Favorite Animated Movie Minions Nominated
Favorite Voice From an Animated Movie Sandra Bullock Nominated
Saturn Awards[62] Best Animated Film Minions Nominated
Empire Awards[63] Best Animated Film Minions Nominated
Village Voice Film Poll[64] Best Animated Feature Minions 9th Place

Sequel[edit]

A sequel, titled Minions: The Rise of Gru, will be directed by Kyle Balda, with Brad Ableson and Jonathan del Val co-directing it,[65] and is scheduled to be released on July 1, 2022.[66]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Other sources call Minions a spin-off,[4][5] while they referred it a prequel.[6][7][8]

References[edit]

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  60. ^ Multiple sources:
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  62. ^ Multiple sources:
  63. ^ Multiple sources:
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  66. ^ Rubin, Rebecca (March 4, 2021). "'F9' Postponed for the Third Time, 'Minions' Sequel Pushed to 2022". Variety. Archived from the original on March 4, 2021. Retrieved March 4, 2021.

External links[edit]