‘Minions: The Rise of Gru’ and the ban on TikTok trend of wearing suits to the cinema

How a social media meme kick-started a fad among some teenagers — and unwanted rowdy behaviour

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Box office hit Minions: The Rise of Gru has marked the ascent of the supervillain and sparked a viral TikTok trend.

Thousands of cinemagoers across the world have been turning up to screenings dressed in suits and carrying bananas to see the latest instalment in the franchise.

People have been taking to social media to share videos of their arrival with friends. Other posts have them sitting with their hands clasped and fingers steepled together in an animated villain pose.

Why are people wearing suits to see ‘Minions: The Rise of Gru’?

It started, as these things often do, with TikTok. Last month, users of the social media platform began joking about going to the cinema dressed in formal attire, including suits, blazers, ties and scarves.

Memes soon appeared showing smartly dressed people — including film stills from movies such as American Psycho and Reservoir Dogs — alongside the caption: "X tickets to Minions: The Rise of Gru, please".

Quickly spreading to YouTube, Instagram and Twitter, groups around the world started turning it into reality.

What is the #gentleminion hashtag?

The hashtag #gentleminion is being used by Gen Z to spread the word of the trend, with people using the same hashtag to share posts and videos.

The film’s distribution company Universal Pictures also gave fans a shout-out on Twitter, posting: “To everyone showing up to @Minions in suits: we see you and we love you.”

“This is what happens when a generation grows up with a franchise,” an industry insider told The Hollywood Reporter.

The official Minions TikTok account has also experienced huge growth, with a further one million followers joining it in the week the film came out.

“[Universal] was able to infiltrate this group,” a marketing source told The Hollywood Reporter. “The brand was cool enough to grab their attention and become a meme.”

Why have some cinemas banned people from dressing up?

While the #gentleminion is seen by most as harmless fun, some cinemas have banned people wearing suits.

A handful of UK cinemas that are part of the Regal and Odeon chains are stopping unaccompanied children from watching the film in suits after some groups of young people became rowdy and disruptive.

Videos posted on social media show groups cheering and clapping loudly during shows, as well as throwing bananas, the Minions’ favourite food.

“We are currently not admitting unaccompanied children wearing suits for Minions: The Rise Of Gru,” Regal wrote on Twitter. “This is due to the issues we have encountered over the last two days and its associated behaviour.”

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Updated: July 05, 2022, 10:43 AM
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