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'The Super Mario Bros. Movie' sets animation and video game high scores with massive $377 million opening
That's gonna buy a lot of power-ups...and sequel money.
Wa-hoo!! The Super Mario Bros. Movie officially exceeded early box office projections with a global opening of $377 million in its first five days of theatrical release. This massive figure sets a new high score for both animation and video game adaptations, which means sequel talk between Universal, Illumination, and Nintendo will most likely kick into high gear if it hasn't already.
Domestically speaking, the film powered up to $146.36 million over the traditional three-day frame in North America, easily unseating Sonic the Hedgehog 2, whose $71 million bow last spring became the new standard for blockbuster gaming translations. If you factor in the long Easter holiday weekend, The Super Mario Bros. Movie has warped past the $200 million mark between the U.S. and Canada.
"You could use a lot of video game terminology to describe the enormity of the global debut of The Super Mario Bros. Movie, but ‘high score’ most appropriately comes to mind," Paul Dergarabedian, Senior Media Analyst at Comscore, tells SYFY WIRE. "Not only in terms of box office achievement, but also what the film means to the industry and movie theaters — for whom this performance is further validation of the importance of a global theatrical release, revenue-generating power, and cultural impact. For a PG-rated family film to deliver on this level proves that despite so much entertainment being available at home, families chose to pack up the kids and head to the multiplex to enjoy Mario on the big screen. This is fantastic news for the industry as it heads into the summer movie season just around the corner. With this performance, it’s likely game on for a Mario sequel."
"Moviegoers of all ages are turning out for the iconic franchise's new big screen adaptation. It's a cultural moment for kids, parents, and grandparents from all walks of life," adds Shawn Robbins, Chief Analyst at Boxoffice Pro. "Even those who have never played a Mario game have probably heard of the character over the last four decades, making this something of a Star Wars-like generational event unlike any video game-to-film box office performer to date. It's a huge moment for the industry as post-pandemic release schedules are finally normalizing again with a variety of content heading into a strong summer theatrical slate. Animated movies with family appeal are a crucial part of that."
A current international haul of $173 million boosts the domestic tally to almost $400 million. Disney Animation's Frozen II was the previous record-holder with a global opening of $358.5 million back in 2019 (via Screen Crush). Warcraft remains the all-time champion of video game adaptations with a lifetime theatrical gross of $439 million, though The Super Mario Bros. Movie should have no problem claiming that heavyweight title for itself in the coming weeks.
"The incredible partnership of Nintendo and Shigeru Miyamoto’s iconic characters, with Illumination and Chris Meledandri’s unbeatable filmmaking and storytelling prowess, has led to this combustible moment at the worldwide box office," Universal Domestic Distribution Chief Jim Orr said in a statement (via Deadline). "Audiences of all ages and backgrounds have flocked to theaters to revel in this extraordinary big-screen celebration."
Inspired by the bestselling Nintendo franchise known the world over, the family-friendly outing represents the first Hollywood attempt to bring Mario and Luigi to the big screen in three whole decades. A pair of Teen Titans GO! alumni, Michael Jelenic and Aaron Horvath, were tapped to direct the movie off a script written by Matthew Fogel (Minions: The Rise of Gru). Illumination founder/CEO Chris Meledandri served as a hands-on producer alongside Super Mario creator, Shigeru Miyamoto.
A-lister Chris Pratt (Jurassic World Dominion) lends his pipes to the iconic plumber in the blue overalls and red hat, starring alongside Charlie Day (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia), who voices Mario's younger brother, Luigi. The Brooklyn-based brothers find themselves on a whirlwind adventure after a strange pipe located deep beneath the streets of New York transports them to the Mushroom Kingdom, a wondrous land under attack from Bowser (Tenacious D's Jack Black).
Joining forces with Princess Peach (The Menu's Anya Taylor-Joy), Toad (Schmigadoon!'s Keegan-Michael Key) and Donkey Kong (The Fabelmans' Seth Rogen), Mario sets off on an epic quest to rescue Luigi and defeat King Koopa. The voice cast also features the talents of Fred Armisen (Cranky Kong), Kevin Michael Richardson (Kamek), Sebastian Maniscalco (Spike), and Charles Martinet (longtime actor behind Mario, Luigi, Wario, and Waluigi in the games).
The Super Mario Bros. Movie is now playing in theaters everywhere. Tickets are on sale here!