Credits: Illumination Entertainment/Youtube

‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie’ 1-Up’s opening weekend records

The Super Mario Bros. Movie has shot to the top of the global box office, taking $377m (£304m) worldwide on its opening weekend and breaking a number of box-office records in the process. The film, an origin story about how Mario (Chris Pratt) winds up in the Mushroom Kingdom and produced as a partnership between Nintendo and Illumination, has been broadly slated by critics, who claimed it was too much fanservice in the place of cohesive storytelling.

However, it has done superb business due to its brand recognition, the breadth of its reach, its release around the Easter weekend and a lack of competition for the family market. US cinemas recorded $204.6m in box office sales over the opening weekend, and the film made a further $173m overseas. As a result, the film has broken the record for opening weekends for both video game adaptations (beating Warcraft, which made $210m) and animated films (surpassing the $358m made by Frozen II).

It is the biggest opening of the year, passing the Marvel film Ant-Man: Quantumania, and it is already projected by some critics that it will be the biggest film of 2023.

Speaking to the Hollywood Reporter, Comscore analyst Paul Degarabedian said: “This is one of the biggest box office over-performances in recent memory and is absolutely shattering all pre-release projections. Mario officially says ‘game over’ to the video game movie adaptation curse.”

The only other comparable film in recent years has been Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog series – the second film made $72m on its opening weekend last year. A New York Times article on the film’s success asked: “Are family movies back – all the way back, to the degree that Hollywood can once again count on them as relative sure things? Studio executives and movie theatre owners were practically doing cartwheels over the weekend while shouting, ‘Yes!’”

You can read a review of the film by The Boar Games here.


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