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Box Office: ‘Super Mario Bros.’ Scoring Crazy-Great $80M in Second Weekend Domestically



Universal and Illumination’s The Super Mario Bros. Movie is a bona fide blockbuster.

The Nintendo video game adaptation is now on course to gross $80 million or more in its second weekend of play at the domestic box office from 4,371 theaters, notably more than expected and representing a drop of just 45 percent. By the end of Sunday, the PG pic will boast a domestic cume of more than $340 million and roughly $659 million globally.

The animated sensation smashed numerous records in its launch. And by mid-week, it became the top-grossing movie of the year to date at the domestic and worldwide box office after zooming past Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp 2. It’s also now the No. 1 video game adaptation of all time. o grow, including now ranking as the top-grossing video game adaptation of all time after passing up Warcraft ($439.4 million) and Pokémon: Detective Pikachu ($449.8 million).

A plethora of new movies are opening nationwide this weekend to mixed results, led by Universal’s modern-day vampire comedy. Renfield and Screen Gem’s supernatural thriller The Pope’s Exorcist.

Heading into the weekend, many analysts thought Renfield would place no. 2 behind Super Mario.

Now, however, it seems that Pope’s Exorcist is coming in ahead with a projected $8.5 million to $9 million from 3,178 theaters. Directed by Julius Avery, the film stars Russell Crowe as real-life figure Father Gabriele Amorth, a priest who acted as chief exorcist of the Vatican and who performed more than 100,000 exorcisms in his lifetime. (He passed away in 2016 at the age of 91.)

Father Esquibel (Daniel Zovatto) and Father Gabriele Amorth (Russell Crowe) in Screen Gems' THE POPE'S EXORCIST.

Daniel Zovatto and Russell Crowe in ‘The Pope’s Exorcist.’

Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Renfield, which is on course to open to $7 million to $8 million from 3,375 cinemas, stars Nicholas Hoult in the titular role and Nicolas Cage as Count Dracula. The story follows Renfield as he tries to see if there’s another life for him after serving for centuries as Dracula’s loyal aide. Directed by Chris McKay, the New Orleans-set film also stars Awkwafina.

Japanese anime maestro Makoto Shinkai’s coming-of-age anime adventure Suzume is the only movie of the batch to boast glowing reviews, and should gross a decent $4.5 million to $4.7 million from 2,170 theaters for Sony and Cruncyroll. A hit in its home territory of Japan late last year, the film is now rolling internationally after playing in competition at the 2023 Berlinale.

Suzume follows a young heroine who accidentally opens a portal that lets in destructive beings from another world who cause earthquakes. She must reverse the damage before Tokyo is destroyed, helped by a children’s chair brought to life that contains the enchanted spirit of a potential boyfriend.



Courtesy of Suzume Film Partners

Bleecker Street’s crime boss comedy Mafia Mammadirected by Twilight helmer Catherine Hardwicke and starring Toni Collette opposite Monica Bellucci, is finding few laughs in its debut. The movie is on course to open to less than $3 million from 2,002 locations. Mafia Mamma is intended for females 25 and older, a demo that has been slow to return to the multiplex. But a bigger problem could be bad reviews.

In the film, Collette plays an American marketing executive who travels to Italy for her grandfather’s funeral only to learn that she’s just become a crime boss.

The independent sports biographical film Sweetwater, distributed by Briarcliff Entertainment, appears DOA in its debut. The movie is opening to less than $400,000 from 1,204 theaters, one of the worst showings of all time for a pic going out in more than 1,000 cinemas.

Directed by Martin Guigui, the movie chronicles the early career of basketball and baseball player Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton, who was a star player for the Harlem Globetrotters before becoming only the second African American to play in the National Basketball Association when he was recruited by the New York Knicks in 1950. Cary Elwes, Jeremy Piven, Richard Dreyfuss, Kevin Pollak, Robert Richard, Gary Clark Jr., Kevin Daley, Bobby Portis and Eric Roberts also star in Sweetwater.

Beau is Afraid

Joaquin Phoenix in ‘Beau Is Afraid.’


At the specialty box office, filmmaker Ari Aster’s mind-bending Beau Is Afraid is proving to be a big draw in its launch in four theaters in New York and Los Angeles. The specialty pic is on course to secure a per location average of $80,000 or more, the best average of the year so far and one of the best in recent memory. (Put another way, Beau is Afraid‘s total opening gross could be $325,000, not far behind Mafia Mamma, even though it is playing in just four cinemas). Joaquin Phoenix stars opposite Patti LuPone, Amy Ryan, Nathan Lane and Parker Posey in the film.

More to come.

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