Illumination and Universal’s July 4th event movie Minions: The Rise of Gru began landing in select North American theaters Thursday afternoon, grossing an excellent 10.8 million in previews from 3,350 locations.
By Friday, the family animated pic will be playing in approximately 4,400 theaters in the U.S and Canada. The movie — which saw its release delayed by more than a year because of the Covid-19 pandemic — will test the strength of the family box office just weeks after Pixar and Disney’s Lightyear failed to soar into the stratosphere.
The Rise of Gru is a sequel to 2015’s Minions, and is the fifth entry in the Despicable Me franchise, which is the top-grossing animated series in history, not adjusted for inflation.
Tracking suggests that Minions 2 will open in the 70 million to 80 million range for the four-day holiday, but the strength of previews means it could well come in higher.