UK movie theaters ban formal attire #GentleMinions meme invites sneaky behavior

NBCUniversal/Illumination's "Minions": Last weekend, "Gruesome Guru's Minion Escape" took the number one spot at the box office in the UK, but the country's cinemas were forced to ban groups of young people in suits from the screening after vandalism and unruly behavior was reported at several locations.

The disruptions and vandalism are related to the #GentleMinions viral movement, in which large groups of teenagers dress up in formal wear to attend screenings of "Minion Crisis in the Thief." Some groups went a step further, disrupting screenings, screaming, and recording everything to put on Tiktok. Some claim that bananas and other objects were thrown at the screen.

At the Mallard Cinema on Guernsey Island, there were reports of "alarming misbehavior" by a large group of people throwing objects at the screen, swearing loudly, and shouting abuse at other moviegoers and cinema staff. Police were called to the cinema twice last weekend. According to the cinema's manager, Daniel Phillips-Smith, the cinema has suffered enormous financial consequences as a result of the interrupted screenings. He estimates that as many as 200 refunds were made over the weekend.

Another theater in Worcester reported refunds worth £1,300 ($1,550) in one day as a result of complaints against the #GentleMinions group.

In response, theaters began banning the #GentleMinions' favorite costumes. One Odeon Cinema moviegoer took a photo (below) of a sign posted at the entrance to the building prohibiting customers in formal attire from entering the Rise of Gru.

I was totally entertained by this overhang @ODEONCinemas and then saw kids in suits being denied entry! #gentleminions

- Gill Duds (@gillduds) July 3, 2022

Last weekend, as this trend was gaining momentum, Universal Pictures tweeted in support, and the official Minions Tiktok posted a video with a similar message of support. Neither has addressed the situation since reports of the #GentleMinions ban spread.

To everyone who shows up to @Minions in a suit: we see you, and we love you?

- Universal Pictures (@UniversalPics) July 1, 2022