The ‘GentleMinions’ trend has recently taken the world by storm following the release of Minions: The Rise of Gru (2022) this July. The ‘GentleMinions’ trend saw large groups of teenagers going to the cinema wearing suits and filming their experience and posting it online, mainly to Tik Tok. Arabella Mitchell retrospectively looks at the ‘GentleMinions’ trend, discussing who started it and how cinemas across the country tackled the chaos that followed.
This trend was started by an Australian teen named Bill Hirst who gathered his friends together in their suits from an earlier school formal and made a Tik Tok. This Tik Tok, boasting over 38 million views, sees the boys going up an escalator and sitting in the cinema with steepled fingers which is a stereotypical characteristic of the main character, Gru. Bill Hirst said to NBC that he believed that using Yeat’s song Rich Minion helped bring the video fame, ultimately making it a widespread trend.
This trend went viral, causing many large groups of teenagers to go to the cinema and do the same. As a result, the movie made over $100 million at the box office during the first weekend. Universal Studios went to Twitter to say that they “see” and “love” everyone taking part in this trend.
Many cinemas had to kick groups of people out of their establishment and have issued massive refunds
However, not every cinema has loved people taking part in this trend. Some cinemas had to kick groups of people out of their establishment and have issued massive refunds for reports of disruptive and violent behaviour. This has been seen in a negative light by many cinemas, as the Minions franchise attracts lots of younger children and families. Therefore, loud behaviour exhibited by the participants of the ‘Gentleminions’ trend has had a negative impact on the viewing experience for many families.
In Guernsey, the only cinema on the island had no other option but to cancel all viewings of the movie due to poor behaviour in the theatre, towards other customers and also towards the staff. This cinema revealed that during the opening weekend they had to give out refunds due to the behaviour of these disruptive patrons.
Other cinemas throughout England also saw the Gentleminions trend negatively. A spokesperson for Odeon said to PA news agency that, “Due to a small number of incidents in our cinemas over the weekend we have had to restrict access in some circumstances.” Reports online suggested some cinemas had been banning groups in suits from seeing the film or warning they could be kicked out if they became disruptive. However, this did not stop some people as they were disguising their suits under other clothes in order to take part in this trend.
The ‘Gentleminions’ trend […] has created quite a lot of mixed feeling in the media
Despite the ‘GentleMinions’ trend being very disruptive to cinemas, the cinema company Vue handled the disruption in a better way. They combatted this by putting on specific Gentleminions screenings so that families wanting to watch this film were able to do so without groups of young boys potentially ruining the experience for their children, like in a cinema in Glasgow.
Ultimately, this trend distracted viewers from the good qualities of the film and tainted some of the experiences of the target audience. Regardless of how the cinemas chose to deal with the ‘GentleMinions’ trend, it has created quite a lot of mixed feeling in the media, with some asking if teenagers should have been behaving this way in the screenings at all.
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