As of yesterday, Minions broke yet another box office record (or two), and Illumination Entertainment has the Middle Kingdom to thank for this.
The film bowed in China yesterday to an estimated $20.1 million (125 million in yuan), marking it the biggest opening day for an animated film in that country (a title previously held by DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 2). The estimated gains are also higher than that of Despicable Me 2, another Illumination film in the Despicable Me franchise (and one that came close to being in the billion dollar club itself).
It also helped that, even while this film and the rest of the US blockbuster offerings had to wait out China’s blackout period (during which blockbuster films made and produced only in China are given a special spotlight), Illumination still put its marketing skills to work. The above picture is from one of those country specific marketing stunts, in which Kevin, Stuart, and Bob visited the Great Wall (they also pulled this stunt for Despicable Me 2).
Minions will only be in Chinese theaters for an allotted 30-day time slot, during which time it will face off against Sony’s Pixels, Disney/Pixar’s Inside Out, and Marvel/Disney’s Ant Man.
So now that the shock factor behind this news is out of the way (if it wasn’t already), let’s talk about what might happen next. Specifically, could Minions possibly go above and beyond our rocked expectations and unseat Frozen as THE highest-grossing animated film of all time? I’m not going to say yes, but I will say there is a possibility. The fact that it’s September and Minions is still breaking records at an unprecedented pace is reason enough to suspect that this film might be able to punch another hole in box office history and end on the biggest upset of all before it’s out of theaters entirely.
Minions is currently in theaters. See Morgan’s review of the film here. Listen to the Animation Addicts’ review and discussion of the film here. Stay tuned for the next installment of our Rotoscopers Roundtable, in which our writers and editors (myself included) react to the film’s soaring box office run.
What do you think? Are you surprised by this development? Could Minions possibly unseat Frozen before all is said and done?
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes