Teenagers wearing suits have been banned from attending some screenings of Minions: The Rise Of Gru after a viral trend prompted unruly behavior.
Groups of young friends in sharp suits have been filming themselves attending the latest Despicable Me spin-off before posting it on TikTok as part of the new #gentleminions trend. The videos show groups of suited youngsters in cinemas across the globe while adopting a hand gesture commonly used by supervillain Felonious Gru (voiced by Steve Carell).
It’s thought that most of the videos just show groups attending the screenings in their sharp-suited attire, but a small minority show the teens hurling popcorn and other items at each other.
The disruption has already prompted several theaters in the U.K. to speak out against the viral TikTok trend.
In a statement to Sky News, Odeon Cinemas said: “Due to a small number of incidents in our cinemas over the weekend we have had to restrict access in some circumstances.”
Elsewhere, the manager of Vue Cinemas in Worcester claimed that the trend had cost them over £1,000 in refunds from disgruntled customers.
“The trend cost me £1,300 yesterday,” they told the Worcester News.
“I had to refund all of the tickets in that theatre because of kids shouting and mimicking the Minions while the film was playing. It was a group of about eight kids. Now, when we see any kids coming in to see the film dressed up we give them a warning. We tell them that if there is one complaint, whatever that may be, they will be kicked out of the cinema.”
One independent cinema in Wadebridge, Cornwall has also banned unaccompanied children wearing suits from watching the film.
In a statement posted on Twitter before being deleted, The Regal wrote: “We are currently not admitting unaccompanied children wearing suits for ‘Minions: The Rise Of Gru.’ This is due to the issues we have encountered over the last two days and its associated behaviour.”
But Universal Pictures, which produced the film, has taken an entirely different view. Endorsing the #gentleminions trend, they tweeted: “To everyone showing up to Minions in suits: we see you and we love you.”
The trend first began in Australia with a group of 15 teenagers from Sydney heading to the theater in their formal attire. The viral TikTok shows the group clapping at the start of the film and giving a standing ovation at the end, but they didn’t throw popcorn or bananas at the screen like some of their followers.
The UK is the only place to currently have restrictions in place for holding back the Gentleminions movement, but movie theater employees throughout the world have taken to social media to express their annoyance with the increasingly chaotic trend.
A version of this story first appeared in Rolling Stone UK. Subscribe to the magazine in print and receive complimentary access to the digital edition.
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