Minions: The Rise Of Gru Ending Censored And Changed For A Ridiculous Reason
Minions: The Rise of Gru had its ending completely changed and you will definitely not guess what happens instead.
Spoiler Alert: Despicable Me villain Gru is now a good guy! At least he is in Beijing, China, where an altered version of Minions: The Rise of Gru is playing. The Chinese-only version shows the animated character has had a change of heart, and the ruling government ensures that bad guys go to jail. According to ComicBook.com, multiple posts on social media from Chinese moviegoers are reporting that the fifth film in the Despicable Me franchise changed the ending to appease communist government censors. That includes making sure someone went to jail – for 20 years, no less – while Gru becomes a loving father to three girls.
The new version of the film is just the latest example of Hollywood altering its own films to ensure they get government approval to play in Chinese movie theaters, the largest theater market in the world. In order to be approved to screen there, however, films must be edited of offensive content, which reportedly includes any anti-government sentiment and LGBTQ themes. In the case of Minions: The Rise of Gru, that meant the film’s villain Wild Knuckles had to pay for his crimes. In the original version of the film, he fakes his death and escapes with Gru. In the Chinese version, he goes to jail for 20 years and starts his own theater troupe. Even Gru has a change of heart, as the ending says he becomes one of the “good guys” and notes his greatest accomplishment is being the father to three girls.
China is home to over 82,000 movie screens, with films that play there grossing over $6.5 billion dollars each year. At a time when studios are struggling after the COVID pandemic closed theaters for nearly two years, the lure of making millions in China is too great. That means some studios allow their films to be censored or even changed. Minions: The Rise of Gru is produced by Illumination Studios, which is owned by Universal, but neither has publicly stated who approved the changes for the Chinese market. The film opened in the United States on July 1 and was a huge post-pandemic hit, grossing over $350 million domestically and over $800 million worldwide, not counting the grosses from China, where the film just opened.
Hollywood’s attitude towards Chinese censorship, however, is showing signs of changing. After China banned Disney’s live-action Mulan and Marvel’s Eternals and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings over anti-Chinese government comments made by actors and directors (including Chloe Zhao and Simu Liu), Disney announced they would no longer censor their films for international release. Initially, Top Gun: Maverick was going to make a change to the bomber jacket Tom Cruise wore in the film, which featured the flag of Taiwan. China considers Taiwan their territory, and rumors abound that the country is considering invading the country to take it back. Paramount then reversed course and did not remove the patch, and China refused to let Maverick play in its country. It didn’t matter: the film has made over $1 billion worldwide without China’s potential millions. Minions: The Rise of Gru seems to be the rare exception that allowed a change, and critics are ripping the edits, saying the changes to the end of the film resemble a bad PowerPoint presentation. The pushback may affect the studio’s willingness to allow changes in the future, to avoid negative publicity over free speech issues.