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How 'The Super Mario Bros. Movie' stacks up against the top animated films in box office history
The Super Mario Bros. Movie leveled up big time with its opening weekend box office.
As you may have already heard, The Super Mario Bros. Movie did very well at the box office over the weekend. The new film from Universal, Nintendo, and Illumination Entertainment rocketed to more than $350 million worldwide across the five-day Easter weekend, with more than $140 million of that coming in the traditional three-day weekend window at the North American box office. That means people packed theaters for this one, and a sequel is most likely on the way.
Mario was always expected to have a big opening weekend, but even optimistic projections were outpaced by what the film actually did once people were able to show up at the theater. And now the question is: How high can the movie rise? Where does it rank alongside the biggest animated movies of all time? That's what we're here to find out. Let's take a look back at the titans of animated cinema box office hauls, and see where Mario ranks alongside them.
The Lion King (2019)
For all the talk when it was being released of how it stacked up among Disney's "live-action" remakes of animated films, Jon Favreau's The Lion King does still count as an animated movie, and when compared to other animated release, it's the current reigning champion. The Lion King arrived in the summer of 2019 with a whopping $191 million opening in North America, and went on to earn $1.66 billion worldwide. That's good enough that it still ranks on the top 10 list of all-time box office champions.
Frozen II (2019)
The long-awaited sequel to Disney's musical hit Frozen certainly delivered on all that anticipation when it arrived a few years ago. The further adventures of Anna and Elsa arrived the week before Thanksgiving 2019, and ruled the box office with a domestic opening of $130 million (lower than Mario, just to be clear), and things didn't stop there. Frozen II just kept pulling more people into theaters throughout its holiday season box office run until it had amassed a whopping $1.45 billion worldwide. That's good enough for it to remain in the Top 15 all-time earners. While we don't yet know if Mario can reach that high, it's off to a strong start.
Sitting behind Frozen II on the all-time box office list is its predecessor, Disney's runaway Snow Queen hit, which became one of the top-grossing films of its kind despite opening in second place over the Thanksgiving weekend of 2013. If you remember those days, you'll remember it was Hunger Games: Catching Fire time at the box office, so Frozen had to settle for second with an opening weekend just under $100 million. But you also might remember that things definitely didn't stop there. Frozen had legs, and after that solid opening, people just kept going, and going, and going, until the film had earned $1.28 billion worldwide. You might say no one could...let it go.
Incredibles 2 (2018)
Moving over into Pixar territory, we have the much-anticipated superhero sequel to Brad Bird's original Incredibles epic, and its massive box office domination in June of 2018. Though it didn't finish as strong as the other three films listed above, Incredibles 2 started among the strongest, with a domestic opening of $182 million, kicking off an eventual domestic run of more than $600 million. All told, the film finished just below Frozen with a total worldwide box office of $1.24 billion.
Illumination is no stranger to box office triumphs, and while Mario marks the company's biggest opening weekend ever, its biggest all-time success is still the first Despicable Me spinoff film. Minions arrived with an opening weekend haul of $115 million when it landed in the spring of 2015, and the hits didn't stop there. The film just kept climbing, opening around the world until it finished with a global total of $1.15 billion, more than $800 million of which came from international markets. Can Mario top that? It's already got a third of the money it would need to beat Minions overall. Now we just have to see if it keeps climbing.