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'Kung fu Minions' getting into Chinese cinemas

By Xu Fan | | Updated: 2022-08-19 14:22
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A scene in the new movie features three Minions study kung fu with Master Chow. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Yellow, little, cylindrical and cute. This is the description of Minions, the signature characters in Universal and Illumination's Despicable Me franchise. However, in their latest outing — Minions: The Rise of Gru — three Minions have Chinese audience a surprise: their funny kung fu stunts.

The movie, set to open across domestic theaters on Friday, held a premiere in Universal CityWalk Cinema in eastern Beijing earlier this week, drawing local fans and industry insiders.

As the fifth movie of the overall Despicable Me franchise, which has so far released three Despicable Me movies and one Minions spin-off, the new film returns to the 1970s, when the franchise's most famous super-villain, Felonius Gru, is merely an 11-year-old boy.

Audience gather after watching the new Minions movie. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Dreaming of becoming a top villain, the young Gru tries to join a group of super-villains but is captured by their ousted leader. On their way to rescue their "mini boss", three Minions, also among his best henchmen, stray into the Chinatown in San Francisco, and learn Chinese kung fu from Master Chow, a masseuse.

The premiere was followed by a party held in the Minions-themed area in Universal Beijing Resort, with the three "kung fu Minions" — Kevin, Stuart and Bob — as well as Otto, a new Minion first appearing in The Rise of Gru, all showing up to promote the new movie.

Some iconic Chinese kung fu exercise equipment and weapons, such as meteor hammer and plum flower piles, are featured in the scenes that Master Chow coaches the three Minions to practice martial arts.

The movie was released in 22 percent of all Chinese screens on its opening day, according to the movie information live tracker Beacon.

Four leading Minions show up in front of a floral car to promote their new movie in Universal Beijing Resort. [Photo provided to China Daily]
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