“Minions: The Rise of Gru,” the latest animated film in the Despicable Me franchise, grossed an estimated $125 million domestically for its four-day opening weekend, according to Universal.

That gives the film the record for the biggest opening during the Fourth of July holiday weekend, surpassing “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” which grossed $115 million in 2011.

The opening is a huge blow in the arm for theaters. The industry has been waiting anxiously to see if families, who have been somewhat reluctant to take their children to the movies during the pandemic, would return to theaters. While there have been family hits like “Sonic the Hedgehog 2,” this question became more pressing after Disney (DIS) and Pixar’s “Lightyear” flopped at the box office last month.

But the performance of “Minions” shows that not only do families want to return, they will return in great numbers to see the right movie.

“Families want to be in theaters,” Jim Orr, president of national theatrical distribution for Universal, told CNN Business. “They want the social event of everything.”

The reason “Minions” did well is probably a combination of good reviews (it has a 71% Rotten Tomatoes score), being the next installment in a franchise that has earned an estimated $4 billion worldwide. , and possibly even TikTok, after the social networking site was created. a viral trend that had moviegoers dressing up in formal wear to watch the movie.

The release of “Minions” was originally scheduled for 2020, but was delayed several times due to the pandemic. While other family movies decided to go to streaming, Universal brought “Minions” to theaters, a strategy that paid off this weekend.

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