It was all bound to happen because that's how the Internet works: First we prop big sensations up, and then we revel in their downfall. And that's exactly what has gone down—already—with the Minions movie, even though it premieres in the United States today.
Oh, those Minions have a lot of fans, and Fandango said the film is tracking—in terms of pre-sale tickets—better than any animated flick this year. But while the Universal Pictures movie starring these virtual creatures is set to top $100 million this opening weekend, there is a growing backlash against Minions.
The publicity machine for the little yellow, pill-shaped monsters has been in overdrive—just read BuzzFeed for the countless number of Minion-related Internet items. But sign into Reddit, and you'll find a group of almost 15,600 people dedicated to Minion haters. Reddit, the user-powered website, lets anyone set up a subreddit dedicated to specific topics, and MinionHate is now one of them.
And some moms and dads aren't even cool with the cute little Minions: Parents are complaining that a Minions toy from McDonald's swears when played with, saying "WTF." (Of course, the characters speaks gibberish, so it's unlikely an actual curse was spoken here, but judge for yourself below.)
The resistance to the rise of the Minions was inevitable, because they are everywhere, from Amazon packaging to billboards to Internet memes.
BuzzFeed has exhaustive coverage of the things, and the site is not even being paid to keep the publicity going.
"BuzzFeed has always made posts that have to do with what the zeitgeist of the Internet is at whatever moment, and right now, that's Minions," said Katie Notopolous, a senior editor and resident Minions expert at BuzzFeed, in an email to Adweek. "Specifically, there's an ironic backlash on the Internet against the really overwhelming marketing campaign that makes it seem like Minions are everywhere."
The subreddit MinionHate is the perfect expression of the changing attitude. Its profile reads: "Minions are a marketing ploy first introduced in 2010. They are now the Facebook mascots of seventh graders, way2random girls, grandmothers and generally obnoxious people."
And the creators might be on to something. Jon Hamm, who provides a voice in the movie, was recently on Comedy Central's The Daily Show and said, "I think these guys, these little Minions, are scientifically designed to be appealing to children."
They are the perfect marketing creation, and are being used as such. They're not only all over McDonald's physical and digital promos—they also have their own Jell-O product and appear on Twinkies, bananas and Tic Tacs. And basically anything yellow.
Thanks partly to such tie-ins, Universal Pictures can almost sit back and watch the Internet take over.
"There's also the fact that for a while now, Minions have become the default in this sort of shitty world of Mom memes, and the Internet is reacting to that," BuzzFeed's Notopolous said.
There is still little doubt of Minions' success come show time this weekend. The movie already took in more than $100 million overseas, and a YouTube measurement firm said Minions clips have gotten more views than any other summer blockbuster on the video site except Jurassic World, the movie with the best box-office opening of all time.
The data company Zefr said mostly fans have uploaded 26,000 videos to YouTube featuring Minions, generating 653 million views in all. The trailer alone has 220 million views, the company said.
Finally, here's a look at some of that Minions marketing:
This Twinkies-Minion packaging is brilliant. The Twinkies look like little Minions. pic.twitter.com/2VJxSUJwVg
— jeffshelman (@jeffshelman) July 9, 2015
— Tic Tac (@tictacglobal) July 6, 2015
— JELL-O (@JELLO) July 8, 2015
— Bernadette Callahan (@AimlessMoments) July 4, 2015
— Brad Williams (@bwilliams210) July 1, 2015