‘Minions: The Rise of Gru’ Hits $500 Million at International Box Office

Moviegoers really love those tiny yellow henchmen.

“Minions: The Rise of Gru” hit an important milestone over the weekend, crossing $500 million at the international box office. According to Universal, those ticket sales are in line with where the franchise’s previous films — including 2015’s “Minions” and 2017’s “Despicable Me 3” — were at the same point in their respective theatrical runs. Those two films each grossed over $700 million overseas and notched more than $1 billion globally — so “The Rise of Gru” has plenty of ground to make up. Right now, the latest installment in the popular family-friendly series has grossed $868.8 million worldwide.

Following the onset of the pandemic, many blockbusters have struggled to match their pre-pandemic predecessors in terms of global ticket sales. Another Universal release, “Jurassic World Dominion,” is a dinosaur’s throw from reaching the coveted $1 billion mark, with ticket sales at $990 million. Does it have enough juice to become the third COVID-era blockbuster to join the billion-dollar club? Ticket sales have slowed dramatically since the film opened in theaters months ago, but there’s not a lot of competition in theaters… so box office watchers aren’t counting it out just yet.

Although a handful of Hollywood releases touched down at the international box office over the weekend, few made a dent on the charts.

In terms of newcomers, Sony’s horror-thriller “The Invitation” opened to a soft $1.6 million from 19 international territories. The movie also failed to make waves in North America, topping box office charts with just $7 million, the lowest first-place finish in more than a year. On a positive note, “The Invitation” cost $10 million to produce, so it won’t take a ton of coinage to turn a profit.

Sony had better luck with “Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero,” an anime release that added $4.2 million in 34 territories over the weekend. After two weeks in theaters, the film has crossed the $50 million mark. Sony’s Crunchyroll division, which specializes in anime film and television, is releasing the movie everywhere except Japan, where the latest “Dragon Ball Super” has grossed $18 million.

Meanwhile, Jordan Peele’s mind-bender “Nope” opened in 20 new markets, including Japan ($800,000), Mexico ($900,000), Brazil ($600,000) and Saudi Arabia ($500,000). Over the weekend, the movie grossed $8.2 million from 78 international territories, bringing its tally to $31 million overseas and $148 million globally.

Another new release, Paramount’s family film “Tad the Lost Explorer and the Emerald Tablet,” debuted to $4.1 million from 15 markets. The animated Spanish-language movie enjoyed a strong start in Spain with $2.3 million and France with $950,000. It opens in Turkey, the United Kingdom and Mexico in the coming weeks.

Elsewhere, Paramount’s enduring blockbuster “Top Gun: Maverick” added $6.7 million from 64 markets in its 14th weekend of release. With this weekend’s tally, “Top Gun: Maverick” has grossed $731.2 million overseas and $1.407 billion globally, making it the 12th highest-grossing movie ever.

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