Families went bananas for Minions this weekend at the movie theater. “ Minions: The Rise of Gru ” brought in an estimated $108.5 million in ticket sales from 4,391 screens in North America, Universal Pictures said Sunday. By the end of the Monday’s July Fourth holiday, it will likely have earned over $127.9 million.

The film is on track to become biggest opening ever for a July Fourth holiday weekend, a record previously held by “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” which made $115.9 million in its first four days in 2011. Including international showings, where “Minions: The Rise of Gru” is playing in 61 markets, its worldwide gross is sitting at $202.2 million through Sunday.

This is just the latest in a string of successes for Universal and Illumination, including “Sing 2,” which has grossed over $406 million since opening in December, and “The Bad Guys,” which has made over $243 million. “Minions: The Rise of Gru” serves as further proof that family audiences are willing to go back to the movie theater.

The spinoff of the popular “Despicable Me” series was delayed two years because of the pandemic. The sequel to the 2015 film “Minions” was originally slated for a July 2020 release. While many other animated family films opted for streaming or hybrid releases, “Minions,” much like “Top Gun: Maverick,” stayed the course and waited for an ideal time to launch in theaters only. And as with “Top Gun” the wait, it seems, was worth it.

The voice cast features Steve Carell, reprising his role as Gru, Alan Arkin, Michelle Yeoh and Julie Andrews as Gru’s mother. Critics were mixed to positive (it currently has a 72% on Rotten Tomatoes) but audiences were more enthusiastic, giving the Gru origin story an A CinemaScore.

Universal and Illumination have had enormous success with the five “Despicable Me” movies and spinoffs, which date back to 2010 and have earned over $3.7 billion at the global box office.

“Top Gun: Maverick” continues to deliver, adding another $25.5 million to its total, which has already surpassed $1 billion. The film is still playing in 3,843 locations even in its sixth weekend in theaters.

Disney’s “Lightyear,” meanwhile, tumbled further in its third weekend with an estimated $6.5 million through Sunday. By Monday, that total should raise to $8.1 million bringing its cumulative earnings to $106.9 million.

Bleecker Street released “ Mr. Malcolm’s List ” this weekend on 1,384 screens in the U.S. and Canada. The Regency-era comedy of manners stars Freida Pinto and Zawe Ashton as friends looking to get back at a picky bachelor. The studio estimates that the film will have $851,853 by end of Sunday and over $1 million by end of Monday.

Audiences are also still catching up with A24’s “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” which added an estimated $552,000 from 607 screens, in spite of the fact that it’s also available to rent on demand. The studio’s newer title, “Marcel the Shell With Shoes On,” expanded to 22 screens this weekend and is expected to earn about $308,000 by the end of Monday.

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Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr





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