If you’ve been on TikTok as of late, you may have seen a confusing phenomenon.
Loads of people seem to be dressing up in full formal attire, tie and all, to view the new Despicable Me prequel Minions: The Rise of Gru.
In a series of videos, large groups of teenage boys can be seen riding up escalators in a black and white procession of moviegoers, then sitting in a row and applauding the movie from beginning to end.
Dubbed the #GentleMinions movement, the minions have subsequently, yet again, become victim to the memeification of children’s films, rewriting the target audience of the little capsule-shaped, yellow men.
The Memeing of Minions: The Rise of Gru
Released in late June, the film has already grossed a whopping $127.9 million (£105.7 million) in the box office.
In line with the habit of Gen Z memes to increase marketing for certain brands, it’s difficult to say how much of these earnings can be attributed to the TikTok trend.
Sequel to 2015’s Minions, which made over $1.159 billion worldwide, Minions: The Rise of Gru is an additional prequel in the Despicable Me franchise.
The current spin-off follows the beginnings of 11-year-old Gru as he begins his career of mischief and evil alongside the infamous minion trio Kevin, Stuart, and Bob.
Minions: The Rise of Gru also contains an impressive soundtrack that features a Diana Ross and Tame Impala collaboration, Thundercut, Caroline Polachek, Phoebe Bridgers, Kali Uchis, and even Brockhampton.
The GentleMinions movement comes after people on social media bombarded Sony’s Morbius with positive reviews despite it getting some pretty negative appraisals from critics of the film.
While the trend has been overwhelmingly embraced by others on social media, some cinemas are not happy with the resulting destruction of property resulting from such large groups of adolescents arriving at their theatres.
An unnamed theatre posted a message saying they were cracking down on the viral TikTok trend.
The message said: “Due to recent distrubances [sic] following the #GentleMinions trend, any group of guests in formal attire will be refused entry for showings of Minions: The Rise of Gru.”
Despite such responses, Universal has reacted with much more encouragement.
The company posted on their official Twitter page: “To everyone showing up to @Minions in suits: we see you and we love you.”
The official Minions Twitter page responding with the name of the trend: “The Gentleminions.”