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People Are Dressing In Suits To See Minions: Rise Of Gru. Here's Why

In the year of our lord 2022, memes have a lifespan of, what ... two days? The internet moves fast. By the time this article goes up, the "in the year of our lord" meme will long since have gone the way of the dinosaur. Gen Z, however, has found a way to breathe new life into their jokes, giving them a second win in the real world. Earlier this year, internet meme culture rocked Sony to its core by tricking them into re-releasing "Morbius," a movie approximately no one went to see. Now that Jared Leto's monster flick is back in the grave, the memes have found a new target, and that is "Minions: Rise of Gru."

Unlike "Morbius," though, which suffered by the collective hands of the internet, "Minions: Rise of Gru" seems to have prospered at the box office (as noted by The Hollywood Reporter) from a bizarre call to action. Moviegoers are flocking to theaters to see Illumination's long-stalled animated project dressed in ... formal attire? Tuxedos, gowns, and whatever else may be on hand to whip up an outfit entirely out of place for a movie featuring fart bombs. That's it, that's the meme. So, what's going on here?

Gen Z is looking for a little joy in an odd place

The short answer is that it's hilarious, the world is crumbling, and why not?. The long answer isn't much more specific, but it provides a little context. Gentleminions (yes, that's the meme's name, per IGN) seems to be a variant of a recent meme which saw posters sharing images of stylistically specific individuals asking for tickets to a movie. Sometimes, the meme was meant to mock certain groups — case in point, an image of young adult men with patchy goatees and Spirit of Halloween fedoras asking for tickets to the 2019 film "Joker." Sometimes, the meme was meant to subvert expectations — consider, for example, an image of stereotypical country folk asking for tickets to the upcoming "Barbie" film. It's likely that Gentleminions is the natural progression of this brand of subversion.

This joke hasn't been without consequence. Some movie theaters are banning kids for causing a racket (via BBC) and giving other patrons refunds in bulk to make amends for the perceived distress. While the meme is, again, hilarious, it's understandable that other potential moviegoers would find it utterly destructive to the entire cinematic experience. Universal Pictures, meanwhile, tweeted their approval of the trend (after all, ticket sales are ticket sales).

It's important to remember that this kind of interface between web culture and reality isn't new, it's just new to the movie community. In 2019, as noted by Vox, a joke about storming Area 51 transformed into an actual event with approximately 6,000 travelers meeting up for "Alienstock" in Rachel, Nevada. All this to say, never underestimate the power of an exhausted generation's absurdist tendencies when a good bit is on the line.