#Gentleminions TikTok trend divides ‘Minions’ moviegoers

Universal Pictures agrees that Gen Z should dress up in suits and come out in droves to see Minions: The Rise of Gru as part of a new TikTok craze. But some theaters found the trend despicable.

According to a BBC News report, cinemas have canceled screenings and banned people in similar costumes from seeing the animated film in a bid to blunt the rise of #Gentleminions. The social media challenge encourages youngsters to dress up in formal attire and go absolutely crazy in the theater for the titular yellow pals.

The trend has been lauded online for helping Minions: The Rise of Gru break its July 4 record in its opening weekend at the domestic box office.

Of course, the film studio is excited about Gen Z’s TikTok-powered enthusiasm for the latest installment in the Despicable Me franchise, which is primarily aimed at families with young children.

“To everyone who shows up in suits on @Minions, we see you and we love you,” Universal Pictures tweeted Friday in lowercase, Zoomer’s language.

However, some theaters claim that the black-tie trend is out of control, disrupting parents and children just trying to enjoy a family trip to the movies. On TikTok, the #Gentleminions hashtag has amassed more than 7 million views, and one of the earliest videos associated with the trend has hit more than 35 million.

Clips in the app have shown crowds of mostly young men arriving at their local theaters in outlandish outfits, munching on the Minions’ favorite food (bananas) and moshing in front of the screen.

Over the weekend, TikTok user @333abdullahh shamed “everyone who came to see Minions in suits” for spilling popcorn all over the floor.

“Due to the recent riots following the #Gentleminions trend, any group of guests wearing formal attire will be refused entry to screenings of Minions: The Rise of Gru.” read a character at Odeon Cinemas, which has gone viral on social media.

A major theater chain said the TikTok phenomenon has had a largely positive effect in terms of exciting an audience that wouldn’t normally gather for a children’s film. But the not-so-gentle antics of the #Gentleminions have disrupted screenings and resulted in minor property damage at their cinemas.

A company representative, who was not authorized to speak publicly, told The Times that employees were made aware of the trend but no specific rules were put in place to prevent it.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Mallard Cinema in Guernsey, an island in the English Channel, told the BBC the trend has been “absolutely heartbreaking” for the theatre, which has suffered a “massive” financial hit from all the refunds on offer over spoiled showings.

“We’ve had families that don’t even go back to the screen when we tried to sort it out, families that leave before the movie even started, and of course the kids were crying,” Mallard Cinema executive Daniel said Phillips Smith.

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/movies/story/2022-07-05/minions-the-rise-of-gru-gentleminions-tiktok-trend #Gentleminions TikTok trend divides ‘Minions’ moviegoers

Sarah Ridley

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