I can talk about meme culture, Chads, incels, and the differences between Millennials and Gen Z all day, but I’ve left out one pretty big thing: It’s just fun to get hyped about a movie. It may seem odd to older generations (Gen X, boomers) for teenagers to get so excited about Minionsbut today’s young adults were raised on animation.
If you’re on the younger side, you’ve likely had to defend animation or anime to your parents or older relatives. After all, they may say, isn’t that kids stuff? But who doesn’t love a good Pixar or Miyazaki movie?
The average age range of people who went to go see The Rise of Gru its opening weekend were 13-17. Sure, this is largely because of the memes. But Minions: The Rise of Gru broke Independence Day opening weekend box office records, and I don’t think memes are solely to blame.
We can’t look past the brilliance of Illumination’s marketing (Illumination is the studio behind Minions). They caught onto the memes early on, and leaned into them without becoming too pandering. They even created advertisements based on officewhich is a show especially popular among teenagers and people in their 20s.
With the success of Minions: The Rise of Gru and movies like Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verseit seems like movie studios are getting comfortable with having audiences of more than just kids.