Minions: The Rise of Gru breaks box office record, projected $129.2 Million

Universal and Illumination’s “Minions: The Rise of Gru” is setting off fireworks at the Fourth of July box office. It has projected a $129.2 million opening over the four-day holiday weekend from 4,400 locations. On a three-day scale, the “Despicable Me” prequel looks to gross $109.4 million — that number would mark the highest domestic opening for an animated film since 2019’s “Frozen 2,” representing a huge bounce back for family-friendly fare after lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Illumination production took off to an explosive $10.75 million in Thursday previews, initially setting projections for the long holiday weekend in the range of $65 million to $75 million. “The Rise of Gru” is now nearly doubling those estimates.

Additionally, “The Rise of Gru” has a chance to become Universal and Illumination’s top domestic opener ever. The film’s predecessor, 2015’s “Minions,” currently stands as the duo’s best, with a $115.7 million three-day opening. The sequel could break beyond that figure if it continues to grow over the weekend. In other words, the Minions may be bigger than ever.

“Minions: The Rise of Gru” serves as both a sequel to 2015’s “Minions” and a prequel to “Despicable Me.” The film follows a 12-year-old Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) as he grows up in awe of a team of supervillains. Hankering to join them, Gru asks his sentient, overall-sporting pill creatures to sit on the sidelines for the job interview. Of course, things don’t quite work out as Gru expects them to. The voice cast also includes Pierre Coffin, Alan Arkin, Taraji P. Henson, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Lucy Lawless, Dolph Lundgren and Danny Trejo.