‘Minions 2’ marks final 2020 Hollywood release delayed by Covid

‘Minions 2’ marks final 2020 Hollywood release delayed by Covid

Ahead of Universal Jurassic World: Dominion (which I see tonight… should I tell my son about the buzz?), we have one last Minions: The Rise of Gru trailer. Thank goodness because the most recent and intriguing trailer has joined the first High-speed train teaser and the last Light year trailer like the “new Morbiusin that you see the trailer every time you see a movie in a theater. To be fair, a consequence of having so few big movies this summer (Top Gun: Maverick made up of 75% of last weekend’s box office…that’s not sustainable) is that you get the same half dozen trailers before every big movie with little variety. You show up on opening day to Doctor Strange 2 Where Top Gun 2 in IMAX you see trailers for Thor: Love and Thunder, Bullet Train, Lightyear, Jurassic World: Dominion and Minions: The Rise of Gru.

Minions: The Rise of Gru will mark the end of an era. Assuming it opens as planned on July 1, it will be the last Covid-era film that was due to be released in 2020 to finally see the light of day. Whether absence makes the heart grow fonder is a matter of speculation, but it certainly was for Top Gun: Maverick ($550 million worldwide and counting) and I would say several other Covid-era movies (Free Guy, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Godzilla Vs. Kong, Dune, everything everywhere at once, etc.) have performed better now than they would have under conventional circumstances. How long has Illumination and Universal’s Minions: The Rise of Gru been delayed? So long that (like Top Gun 2) the public saw its trailer before the screenings of the two sonic the hedgehog in February 2020 and sonic the hedgehog 2 in April 2022.

Minions earned $1.156 billion worldwide in the summer of 2015, second only to Frozen ($1.276 billion) at the time among animated films. The last two Despicable Me the movies grossed $970 million in 2013 and $1.034 billion in 2017, with the latter only making $1 billion more that summer. Even though Minions 2 (which is both a continuation of Minions and a prequel to the first Contemptible Me) dives on par with The secret life of pets 2 ($430 million vs. $875 million) or Sing 2 (410 million dollars against 634 million dollars), the film will still make between 500 and 715 million dollars worldwide. It would still be the A) highest-grossing toon since Frozen II end of 2019 and B) between 5.9 and 8.5 times its budget above/below 85 million dollars. That’s not even counting PVOD revenue or the rest of the non-theatrical money generated from a successful global theatrical run.

Over the past summers, great Illumination films (Despicable Me 2, Minions, The Secret Life of Pets) flourished alongside major Disney/Pixar films (Monsters University, Inside Out, Finding Dory), and aside from Covid, I would say the same alongside Pixar Light year. However, despite Disney’s animated films, hybrid releases and shorter windows, it didn’t really break the bank at the multiplex. I am expecting Light year do very well next week, but right now the pressure is on the Mouse House to show that they can still play even at the level of a mid-range Universal title. Whether Sing 2 can earn $410 million (and $161 million domestic) while co-existing on PVOD for most of its theatrical run, well, either Charm ($250 million followed by a massive Disney+ audience) has fallen victim to streaming > theater prioritization, or Disney is no longer the king of theatrical animation. I guess it’s the first one, but we’re in trust-but-verify mode.

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