Chances are, if you've read anything about Despicable Me 2 - the sequel to 2010's Illumination Entertainment movie about Steve Carell's criminal mastermind Gru - then you've read about the Minions. Gru's hilarious yellow henchmen steal the sequel away from Carell, Kristen Wiig and Russell Brand - and the kids are hungry for more.

Steve CarellA Minion And Steve Carell At The Despicable Me 2 Premiere

"As we left the theater, my son was raving about the minions. He wanted a minion toy," Carell told USA Today after the premiere, "I took no offense. There is no competing with these masters of upstagery. You just have to bow down to minion appeal."

The Minion -worship is now well and truly underway as the movie heads into theaters in the U.S. on Wednesday (July 3, 2013). Directors Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud had little choice but to upgrade the creatures' roles into the main plot of the movie after a comical showing in the first film. They even have their own ride, Minion Mayhem at Universal Studios Orlando, and make up almost 100% of the promotion behind the sequel. "We're seeing them everywhere," Coffin said, "It's a little bit disturbing."

Watch the Despicable Me 2 Trailer:

"They steal these movies with their crazy, anarchic fun," says Bill Desowitz, contributing editor of Animation Scoop on, calling them "a cross between a Twinkie and a rubber duck."

The sky now appears the limit for the loveable characters, who will get their own film, Minions, in 2014. They will serve the female super-villain Scarlett Overkill, voiced by Sandra Bullock. "The sky is the limit for the minions," Carell says. "Aside from anything else, they give people a lot of joy. And that's a really great thing."

Watch A Clip From Despicable Me 2:

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Despicable Me 2 has the edge over Gore Verbinski's The Lone Ranger heading into the box-office battle this weekend. Pre-release tracking suggests the animated flick could rack up $110 million by Sunday, leaving Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer in its wake.

Watch a Clip From Despicable Me 2:

Kristen WiigKristen Wiig At The Despicable Me 2 Premiere, With The Minions

Despicable Me 2 Minions
Hey It's The Minions Again!

Miranda Cosgrove
Miranda Cosgrove With The Despicable Me 2 Minions!