Fourth of July 2022: ‘Minions: The Rise of Gru’ hits $108M in debut

The fireworks have already begun for “Minions” fans.

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“Minions: The Rise of Gru” got off to a spectacular start for the Fourth of July weekend, bringing in an estimated $108.5 million in ticket sales in North America, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

At its current pace, the animated family film is expected to reach $127.9 million, according to Variety. If those projections hold, “Minions: The Rise of Gru” will break the record for the highest film opening over the Independence Day weekend, passing “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” the website reported. The 2011 film grossed $115.9 million over four days, according to Variety.

During the same four-day holiday weekend, “Spider-Man 2″ grossed $115.8 million in 2004 and “Despicable Me 3″ pulled in $99 million in 2017, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The movie has been shown on 4,391 screens in North America, The Associated Press reported. Including international markets, where it is playing in 61 markets, the film’s worldwide gross is at $202.2 million through Sunday, according to the news organization.

“It’s a tremendous debut,” Jim Orr, Universal’s president of domestic theatrical distribution, told the AP. “It’s playing very broadly across North America. Every single market doing extraordinarily well.”

“This is a sensational opening,” David A. Gross, who runs the movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research, told Variety. “Family animation, more than any other genre, has struggled to find its footing during the pandemic. This weekend, ‘Minions’ is breaking through and big animation is back in business.”

Kyle Balda directed “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” which takes place in the 1970s as a young Gru -- voiced by Steve Carell -- tries to test the waters of supervillain life, Variety reported. Taraji P. Henson, Michelle Yeoh, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Julie Andrews also lend their voices to the movie.

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