Illumination’s Super Mario Bros. movie i now in theaters, and not unlike with the games themselves, is doing really well at the box office.
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Per Deadline, the film—starring Chris Pratt, Jack Black, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Charlie Day—is on track to earn a global box office of $377.5 million, at time of writing. Of that, $172.8 million comes from overseas, with the biggest contributor of the international bunch being Mexico at $27.4 million, the country’s third-biggest opening of all time, along with the best ever for Universal and animated films in general. Similarly, at an expected $204 million for North America, Super Mario Bros. has the biggest five-day opening ever (it released on Wednesday, April 5 as opposed to having the usual Friday release). The US and Canada reportedly account for nearly 3/4 of the film’s box office thus far.
To date, the film has the biggest box office of 2023, the biggest-ever global debut for an animated film, and the largest opening ever for a video game adaptation. There’s a good chance that the movie will reach $1 billion when all is said and done, and further helping its chances is the fact that it has no real kids competition for quite awhile. April has films like Evil Dead Rise, Chevalier, and Beau is Afraid for adults, but Mario otherwise gets the youths all to itself, as far as theatrical releases are concerned. (Disney’s Peter Pan & Wendy hits Disney+ on April 28.) It’ll have more competition in May between The Little Mermaid, Fast X, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, but until then, the movie world basically belongs to Mario.
Illumination’s been marketing Mario (Mario-keting?) like mad over the last several months with multiple trailers and promos, some of which offer some fun nods to the series’ past. Of course, it helps that Nintendo is one of the biggest companies on the planet, and Mario its most recognizable brand. Most audiences seem to be enjoying it, so the word of mouth is going to keep it going for quite some time.
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