This story contains spoilers for the film "Minions: The Rise of Gru."
Chinese censors altered the ending of the fifth movie in the Despicable Me series to ensure the good guys win.
"Minions: The Rise of Gru," made by Universal Pictures, was released earlier this month in China, with many movie-goers noticing a short addition to the end of the movie not seen in other parts of the world, Reuters reports.
While the original version ends with villain Wild Knuckles escaping police and protagonist Gru returning to a life of crime, the Chinese version makes sure lessons are learned. A slideshow of images has been added to the end of the movie that states Wild Knuckles was eventually apprehended by police and sets up an acting troupe in prison.
Additionally, the slideshow assures viewers that evil mastermind Gru "eventually became one of the good guys" by raising his three adopted daughters, according to Reuters.
The change in Gru's ending raises issues with the continuity of the films, as Gru is depicted as a supervillain well into his adulthood with his three daughters in tow.
The spinoff of the popular Despicable Me series was delayed two years because of the pandemic. The sequel to the 2015 film "Minions" was originally slated for a July 2020 release. While many other animated family films opted for streaming or hybrid releases, "Minions," much like "Top Gun: Maverick," stayed the course and waited for an ideal time to launch in theaters only.
The voice cast features Steve Carell, reprising his role as Gru, Alan Arkin, Michelle Yeoh and Julie Andrews as Gru’s mother. Critics were mixed to positive (it currently has a 72% on Rotten Tomatoes), but audiences were more enthusiastic, giving the Gru origin story an ‘A’ on CinemaScore.
The franchise is a smash success in China and other East Asian countries, where the titular "minions" — small, yellow and talkative humanoids in overalls — have become household icons. The animated characters have shown up everywhere from restaurant collaborations to fashion collections.
This is just the latest in a string of successes for Universal's family releases, including "Sing 2," which has grossed more than $406 million since opening in December, and "The Bad Guys," which has made more than $243 million. "Minions: The Rise of Gru" serves as further proof that family audiences are willing to go back to the movie theater.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.