Oscars CEO deems Minions essential cinema: 'The industry needed that'

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Did you ever watch a Minions movie and whisper, "Poetic cinéma" softly to yourself? Well, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' leadership just might've.

From bananas to the Oscars, Universal and Illuminations' Minions franchise is gobbling up Hollywood glory. The blockbuster animated series centering on the antics of the mischievous, one-eyed yellow critters — which premiered its most recent installment, Minions: The Rise of Gru, in July — received high praise from Academy CEO Bill Kramer during a panel discussion Saturday at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival.

"We did not hate that," Kramer told the audience after the Steve Carell-voiced film (and its record-breaking July 4 weekend box office haul) received praise from panel moderator and Rotten Tomatoes editor Jacqueline Coley. "The industry needed that."

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 26: Oscar Statue on display at the 94th Oscars Week Events: Animated Feature Film at Samuel Goldwyn Theater on March 26, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images); MINIONS: THE RISE OF GRU. © Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 26: Oscar Statue on display at the 94th Oscars Week Events: Animated Feature Film at Samuel Goldwyn Theater on March 26, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images); MINIONS: THE RISE OF GRU. © Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Rodin Eckenroth/Getty; Universal Studios Academy CEO Bill Kramer praised 'Minions: The Rise of Gru' as essential Hollywood cinema.

The film grossed just under $894 million at the global box office, joining other titles like Spider Man: No Way Home and Top Gun: Maverick as standout hits in a post-pandemic landscape after the coronavirus outbreak decimated theater business around the world.

Kramer and AMPAS president Janet Yang also used Minions: The Rise of Gru as an example of cross-demographic fare bridging the gap between the Academy's old and new guard. The Oscars organization will be shifting its focus to more inclusive initiatives for both its membership and fresh audiences via platforms like TikTok, which Yang said contributed to a "better reflection of who we are in the industry."

Elsewhere at the panel, Kramer teased the 2023 Oscars ceremony, promising that it would include "great legacy surprises" during the ABC telecast.

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