How the Minions Tapped TikTok and Brand Collabs to Do $202M First Weekend

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Though they’re only a few feet tall, this weekend The Minions have taken the internet by storm. With over 8,600,000,000 views on the #minions TikTok hashtag and 25+ major brand collaborations that released in the past month, the new film Minions: The Rise of Gru has surpassed $202,000,000 in first weekend box office sales.

The theaters were not filled up with many young children listening to the Minions chatter amongst their families. It was the suit-wearing 16-25-year-old Gen Z audience who sold out box offices world wide. So, how did The Minions do it? Was it their cute look and energetic tone? Was it their light wash overalls and fancy glasses? Let’s look into this week’s greatest social media trend: The Minions.

Step 1 – Taking Over Direct-To Consumer

Owned by Illumination Entertainment, The Minions have made their way around the world and back these past years. Without having released a cinematic film in 5 years, The Minions team hit the ground running with pre-release brand collaborations to drive brand awareness and sales in the physical world.

We could list them off, but the amazing TikTok Creator Ashley Denver has done a perfect breakdown for us in two parts here:

Minions Brand Collaborations Part 1:


The Minions marketing team is working OVERTIME. #advertisingtiktok #minionsriseofgru

♬ Act 2: In the Hall of the Mountain King – Edvard Grieg


Minions Brand Collaborations Part 2:



#greenscreen Reply to @stuffaboutadvertising The minions are actually going to take over the world 🫠 #advertisingtiktok

♬ Act 2: In the Hall of the Mountain King – Edvard Grieg

Many may ask “did the Minions need to collaborate with just about everyone in the direct to consumer space”? Though, I find it to be very telling of today’s collaborative enviornment driven by social media. Every brand is working diligently to stay in the conversation, and with the family friendly brand identity that each Minion carries with them, these partnership pieces were incredible hits.

Step 2: Making A Splash In Rap Culture:

Not only did The Minions tap international staple in the music industry Lyrical Lemonde for a full clothing capsule (which was an incredible line of cut and sew varsity jackets and clothes), but they leveraged the millions of average viewers per Lyrical Lemonade’s YouTube channel music videos to release a song with rapper Yeat titled “Rich Minions”


This song played an integral part in the viral explosion of #minions on TikTok. At the time of writing, the audio for ‘Rich Minions’ by Yeat has been used in 185,500 videos published on TikTok in the past 7 days (that’s 18 videos being posted with this audio per second).

Step 3: Taking Over TikTok

Yes, The Minions ran their own paid ads to drive awareness to the release of their newest movie. But, the TikTok trends that came from the movie’s massive box office first weekend’s success did not come from an ad agency. The success itself didn’t even come from paid ads. It came from creators.

Creators took it upon themselves to develop the trend that is being called #MinionGang, #Gentleminions, and #GruGang. Gen Z Creators have gotten their groups together and dressed up in formal attire to attend the showing of Minions: The Rise Of Gru across the globe. Documenting their attendance on TikTok, hundreds of thousands of creators have shown off their best Minions suit outfits as a group to the TikTok platform.

Creator @bill.hirst kicked off the viral trend by showing his big Friday night out at the theater with his friends and amassing over 35,000,000 views on his #minions video:


🍌#fyp #minions #banana

♬ original sound – billh

Creator @Archie.Barber followed trend on Saturday accumulated over 20M views showing off himself and his friends supporting Gru in his rise:


the streets may of called me despicable but my money still gru 💯

♬ Rich Minion – Yeat

By Sunday, one of the largest names on social media Mr. Beast rented out an entire movie theater to see Minions: The Rise Of Gru with his formal attire friends.


Minions > Avengers

♬ Rich Minion – Yeat

Step 4: What happens on TikTok always ends up on Twitter:

These videos (and the thousands of others) have caught wind globally, too. Gentlemen in formal attire were seen on the way to the theaters in Stavanger, Norway for the premier –

Though, there have been reports of a few theaters getting a little too out of hand for The Rise of Gru.

Within three days of the formal attire attending #minions lovers selling out theaters around the world, this photo popped up on Twitter accumulating over 100,000 likes within the first few hours:

Memes formulated on Twitter all weekend with hundreds of thousands of likes in regards to Gru, Minions, and being despicable in a punny way.

So, how was the film?

I wouldn’t be writing about this historical moment on social media if I, myself did not partake. Saturday night I went to a sold-out 9:30 pm showing of Minions: The Rise of Gru in an AMC Theater. I laughed, I cried, I posted it on my Instagram about ten times. It was incredible. And yes, of course, I wore a suit and purchased the large Minions popcorn meal at the theater!

The next time you and your team are looking to launch into international stardom – consider this your first question: How Can I Leverage TikTok To Share This Story? Once you understand the value of Creators and know of Glewee’s ability to connect brands with creators – you’ll be ready for your own version of the #minions virality!

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