It looks like Super Mario’s success isn’t relegated to the video game world anymore, as The Super Mario Bros. Movie beat expectations by a large measure this past weekend. Not only did it open to $204.6 million domestically in its first five days of release, but also an impressive $377 million worldwide, which makes it the biggest opening weekend for an animated film ever. The Super Mario Bros. Movie‘s worldwide opening vaults the Nintendo, Universal and Illumination Entertainment-helmed movie past the former animated movie record holder, Disney’s Frozen 2, which pulled in $358 million in its global opening weekend.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie‘s domestic opening places it as the biggest open of 2023 thus far, beating out Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania‘s $106 million opening in February and Avatar: The Way of Water $134 million debut in December. By comparison, Mario also beat out his former 16-bit rival Sonic, nearly doubling the Sonic the Hedgehog 2‘s $71 million opening in April 2022. The numbers also put The Super Mario Bros. Movie at the biggest five-day domestic opening in history, edging out Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen‘s $200 million.
“Cinemas around the world were filled with kids and families drawn by the communal fun that the film promised and delivered in this perfectly executed video game adaptation,” says Paul Dergarabedian, a senior Comscore analyst. “This is great news for theaters.”
Wanda Gierhart Fearing, Cinemark’s chief marketing officer and content officer added, “’The Super Mario Bros. Movie’s’ strong performance with the family audience this weekend is just another example of the consistent consumer enthusiasm for seeing great films on the big screen. Moviegoers have demonstrated time and time again that they crave the immersive, cinematic experience only theaters can provide.”
Going into this weekend, The Super Mario Bros. Movie was projected to pull $86 million over the weekend and $125 million in its first five days of release.
“The box office just kept growing and growing,” says Jim Orr, Universal’s president of domestic distribution. “This result speaks to the extraordinary love for these Nintendo characters and the storytelling from Illumination.”
The Super Mario Bros. Movie earnings were also particularly strong for Imax theaters, where it pulled in $16.6 million domestically and $21.6 million globally, both numbers being the highest animated debut ever for the company.
“llumination and Universal did an excellent job launching this new franchise, building on the great momentum we’re seeing at the global box office as a very promising summer blockbuster season approaches,” said Imax CEO Rich Gelfond.
Chris Pratt, who voices Mario, said in an interview with ExtraTV that the The Super Mario Bros. Movie “really honors the video game, it honors the world of Mario and it’s very promising as to what we could expect over the next 10 years, like an entire universe of these types of movies,” and perhaps this illustrated in the film’s monster opening.
The Super Mario Bros. movie is now playing in theaters. It features the voice work of Chris Pratt as Mario, Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong, Charlie Day as Luigi, Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach and Jack Black as Bowser.
Are you surprised that the The Super Mario Bros. Movie earnings were so impressive for its opening? Do you think the film can retain some of its success in the coming weeks? Are you going to go see the movie? Let us know in the comments.