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‘Super Mario Bros.’ Movie’ Box Office: All the Records Leveled



In a major win for the box office as it continues to level out following the pandemic, The Super Mario Bros. Movie shattered numerous records in its opening across North America and 70 international markets over the long Easter holiday weekend.

The movie blasted past even the most bullish expectations to earn $204.6 million in its five-day domestic debut (April 5-9), including $146.4 million for the three-day weekend. Overseas, it pulled in $171 million for an astonishing worldwide start of $375.6 million, the best showing of the year to date on all fronts.

The adaptation of the iconic Nintendo video game played like an all-audience tentpole, versus a PG-rated animated family film, thanks to the consumers of all ages who have played the wildly popular Super Mario Bros. series and its many offshoots through the decades.

“Nintendo and Shigeru Miyamoto’s Mario has been a cultural icon that has captivated generations,” says Universal domestic distribution chief Jim Orr, who also gave a huge shout-out to Chris Meledandri’s Illumination Entertainment, home of hit animation franchises. Despicable Me and Minions. “The Super Mario Bros. Movie brought in an incredibly broad and enthusiastic audience to theaters around the world this weekend.”

It likely won’t be long before Illumination and parent company Universal, along with partner Nintendo, announce a sequel.

Below are the records set by The Super Mario Bros. Movienot adjusted for inflation.

Biggest Worldwide Opening of All Time for an Animated Film
Super Mario passed up the global debut of Walt Disney Animation’s Frozen 2, which skated to $358 million in November 2019, not long before the COVID-19 crisis struck. And already, Super Mario is the fourth-highest-grossing animated title of the pandemic era, with Universal claiming all four spots (the studio owns both Illumination and DreamWorks Animation). Minions: The Rise of Gru tops the list ($942.5 million), followed by sleeper hits Puss in Boots: The Last Wish ($480.4 million) and Sing 2 ($412.8 million). At this rate, Mario could be the first billion-dollar grosser of 2023.

Second-Biggest Domestic Opening of All Time for an Animated Film
The comedic romp laughed past Pixar’s Finding Dory ($135.1 million) to rank only behind Incredibles 2 ($183 million) on the list of top weekend bows.

Second-Biggest International Opening of All Time for an Animated Film
Frozen 2 remains no. 1 with a foreign launch of $228.2 million. Super Mario certainly set its fair share of records overseas, including landing the biggest animated opening of all time in Mexico ($27.4 million), as well as the best-ever start for any Universal film and the third best for any Hollywood pic. It scored the best animated opening in 10 other foreign markets, including Brazil ($6.9 million), as well as ranking as the top video game adaptation in 42 markets, the biggest Illumination start in 27 markets and the biggest Universal opening in 10 markets, including previews.

Biggest Opening of All Time for a Video Game Adaptation
Hollywood has always had a hard time with the genre, although there have been recent success stories, led by Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog series. Until now, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 topped the list of best openers among video game adaptations with a three-day domestic debut of $72.1 million (that was considered a huge sum, considering the box office recovery was still in its early days.) Super Mario also scored the biggest global opening of any video game adaptation after besting Warcraft ($210 million) in like-for-like markets. Sonic 2 had a staggered international rollout, making comparisons impossible.

Biggest Opening of 2023 to Date
It’s no small feat to beat a Marvel superhero film, but Super Mario did just that in buzzing past Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which debuted globally to $225.3 million, including $106.1 million in North America and $117.1 million overseas. While a series best, Quantumania quickly lost its momentum.

Top Opening in Illumination’s History
Despicable Me 2 was previously Illumination’s biggest global launch, with $208 million in like-for-like markets, while Minions had topped the list of best domestic openers with a three-day weekend of $115.7 million.

Fourth Biggest Global Day-and-Date Opening in Universal History
Furious 7 ($398 million), Jurassic World ($525 million) and Fast 8: The Fate of the Furious ($543 million) are the only films to have done more. Quite the feat.

Top Five-Day Domestic Opening for a Wednesday-Sunday Launch
Transformers: The Revenge of the Fallen was the previous record-holder with $200.1 million.

Top Animated Openings of All Time for Imax
The premium large-format exhibitor scoured up $21.6 million globally and $16.6 million domestically, both records. Overseas, Super Mario delivered all-time Imax bests for an animated film in 22 markets, including the UK, Germany, Brazil and Mexico, and all-time Imax bests for any film in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Curacao.

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