The widest domestic release in history is nigh, and it comes in the name of minions.
“Despicable Me 3” is poised for box office success when it hits a record 4,529 theaters, per Variety, on June 30. Once again we find ourselves swarmed with the sentient canary-hued pills that seem to exist in some kind of indentured servitude to Gru, a quirky hunchback voiced by Steve Carell (who is hot now).
And still, we wonder: What are minions? Why are minions?
Seeking clarity here is all but pointless, as the answer will not stop them from appearing splashed across billboards, in commercial spots, on over-agressive internet ads and atop the hoods of New York City taxi cabs.
The franchise has already proven itself a consumer products juggernaut; when “Minions” came out in 2015, Universal slapped the little Twinkie-shaped oddities on everything from flip flops to men’s ties to Amazon delivery boxes.
Narratively, the minions aren’t the focus of “Despicable Me 3.” But still, they are out here, parading back into our lives to promote another film, the name of which they can’t even pronounce because minions ― either farcically or vexatiously ― speak only a language of gibberish. Minions have now found their way onto fancy minimalist luggage, McDonald’s foods including ice cream and spicy chicken nuggets, Puma shoes, Haribo gummies, three-in-one shampoo with a creepy design flaw, a wifi camera so a minion can keep one watchful eye on your home/pets/children and many other freshly yellowed things.
Although “Despicable Me 3” ― the fourth installment in the franchise ― features fewer minions than in the past, the Twinkie-shaped mutants will undoubtedly help rocket the title to No. 1 at the box office. According to Variety, the film stands to rake in around $90 million on opening weekend, adding to the $955 million the franchise has grossed domestically (and the $2.7 billion it’s snagged globally).
In other words: Oh, god, the minions are back again.