‘Minions’ Nabbed The Meme Crowd That ‘Morbius’ Missed
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Minions: The Rise of Gru enjoyed an incredible weekend at the box office, with media coverage amplified by the TikTok “gentleminions” trend, which inspired tweens, teens and young adults to watch the movie in suits and ties, clutching cigars and bananas.

While the “gentleminions” meme isn’t the sole driving force behind the film’s success, those suit-wearing kids actually showed up, and aside from the occasional rowdy, banana-tossing crowd, contributed to positive discourse surrounding the film; it’s generally a dumb, harmless gag.

While the success of Minions is being compared to the failure of Disney’s Lightyear (Buzz Lightyear, it seems, is infinitely more interesting as a toy), the memeification of Minions also makes an amusing contrast to Sony’s Morbius.

For Morbius also inspired a massive wave of memes, to the point where Sony actually re-released the movie in theatres, hoping that the ironic fandom would show up (they didn’t).

Morbius, a mediocre superhero movie starring a famously unlikable actor (who killed the meme with a single tweet), became internet-famous by virtue of being soulless and boring, a movie that nobody wanted to watch.

The Morbius fandom were parodying the cloying enthusiasm of hardcore Marvel fans, who obediently consume, and hype up, whatever comes next on the MCU content pipeline. Sony, it seems, was tricked by the ironic fandom, mistaking the surge in online interest for legitimate enthusiasm, which might be funnier than every single one of the Morbius memes.

Minions, on the other hand, have been prime meme fodder for a very long time, having inspired an unholy amount of unhinged Facebook posts over the last decade; Minions memes are notorious for being painfully unfunny, so horribly executed that they become, paradoxically, hilarious.

But the suit-wearing youths showing up to theaters in droves aren’t as ironic as they seem – I’d wager that a good number of them genuinely enjoy these movies. After all, the Despicable Me franchise has been around long enough to be nostalgic, and the Minions, with their slapstick stupidity, are genuinely charming.

And that’s the difference between being an ironic Morbius fan and a Minions fan – one of those movies is actually worth watching.

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