A viral TikTok trend has sparked large groups of young people, wearing tuxedos and fancy dress, to turn up in force to the Despicable Me spin-off – Minions: Rise Of Gru. The videos show the teenagers clapping loudly and shining torches to demonstrate an ironic appreciation of the movie. But some fans in Guernsey took things too far.
Mallard general manager Daniel Phillips-Smith said staff had been both confused and entertained by the trend.
‘We had no clue about the trend until the first showing. They all turned up in shirts and suits, then some turned up in flippers and sombreros and we thought that something else must be going on,’ he said.
The franchise has had a large social media presence since the release of Despicable Me in 2010 and has become somewhat of a meme online.
At first Mr Phillips-Smith thought it was a positive phenomenon for youngsters, who he said were between 13 and 16 years old, until he witnessed their behaviour in the first showing and every showing thereafter.
‘They were screaming, shouting, throwing food and winding up the other customers and being aggressive and quite nasty,’ he said.
Groups of as many as 20 teenagers were getting involved.
‘We thought “We can’t handle this”. It is the worst case of anti-social behaviour we have seen. The ferocity of how aggressive they have been we have never seen before,’ said Mr Phillips-Smith.
It is the first time he has ever been driven to cancel showings because of customer disruption.
One showing had to be stopped halfway through so that staff could tell a group of teenagers to leave the premises.
In a post on Facebook on Sunday, it was announced all screenings for the rest of the week had been temporarily taken off sale until it could be ensured only families coming to enjoy the film are booking.
But yesterday the Mallard said it was tentatively putting tickets back on sale – with certain conditions in place. Large groups not accompanied by an adult will not be permitted entry, bookings can only be made in person, and anyone making a disturbance will be asked to leave the showing with no refund. Also, if you find yourself wearing a suit to the Universal Studios film for any reason, you will not be allowed in.