A screengrab from TikTok, showing a trend called GentleMinions. (Photo: TikTok)
The new prequel to “Despicable Me” has dropped — and people are taking it *very* seriously.
“Minions: The Rise of Gru” is now out in cinemas, and viewers are flocking to see it in their best outfits — and by that, we mean formal suits and ties.
Across TikTok, dressed-up teenagers have been seen riding up cinema escalators before taking a seat in the theater and clapping through the movie from start until finish.
It has become known as the #GentleMinions movement, in reference to the charming little yellow cartoon men who help supervillain Gru (voiced by Hollywood actor Steve Carrell).
"Minions: The Rise Of Gru" (Photo: via PA Wire/PA Images)
In this particular film, Gru is 11 years old and already causing havoc — and for some reason, it’s becoming even more popular than the rest of the franchise.
But...why? Well, the film has been “memefied” by Gen Z as they praise the end of the “five-year wait” since the last movie in the franchise was released.
“Despicable Me” was first released in 2010, prompting the beginning of the internet’s obsession with minions. Since then, two more films under the same name have been released, along with a 2015 spin-off called Minions, before the 2022 prequel.
TikTok videos of smartly dressed adolescents marching into theaters have racked up millions of views as they try to replicate the typical mannerisms of Gru, such as his steepled fingers.
So, is it ironic praise, or do these teens really like the film? That much is unclear.
Some cinemas are furious that these groups of teens are arriving at their theaters, as viewers have reportedly been throwing things at the screen and causing a significant disturbance. A handful of venues have even had to provide refunds to other customers, according to the BBC.
Guernsey’s only cinema cancelled screenings of the movie due to “stunningly bad behavior” including vandalism and abuse of staff, which has led to a “massive” financial impact on the venue.
Cornwall’s Regal Cinema has even posted a notice saying it would not admit “unaccompanied children wearing suits” to the movie.
According to social media, Odeon cinemas released a message which read: “Due to recent disturbances, following the #GentleMinions trend, any group of guests in formal attire will be refused entry for showings of Minions: The Rise of Gru.”
Universal — the studio behind the film franchise — doesn’t seem to agree though. On its official Twitter page, the studio said: “To everyone showing up to @Minions in suits: we see you and we love you.”
The official Minions Twitter page replied by naming the trend, The GentleMinions.
Some people seem to think the TikTok trend explains why the film has done so well – it brought in an estimated $108.5 million in ticket sales in North America through Sunday.It also earned 72% on critics site Rotten Tomatoes just two days after it hit cinemas.
Why Minions is crushing the box office. pic.twitter.com/IsFSW7Tkrf
— Rob Keyes (@rob_keyes) July 3, 2022
— Mr. Worldwide (@FairiesUnite) July 2, 2022
The Gentleminions TikTok trend is insane pic.twitter.com/68xpeeorB6
— Ed Barnes (@edbarnesjourno) July 3, 2022
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.