Wahoo! The Super Mario Bros. Movie has gone on to beat even the earliest expectations. Initially, it was set for around $130M domestic opening before it was corrected to a $195M 5-day run. Now, the film hasn’t slowed down one bit as it pulled in enough that set it for a $205M run, which would knock Transformers: Reven of the Fallen to second place and take the record, not just as an animated film but for cinema overall.
Overall, the Easter weekend 3-day gross would place it in third behind Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ($181M) and Furious 7‘s $161M. Overseas it also pulled in $173M by the end of its run and would place it at $377.2M worldwide. Keep in mind, the film hasn’t opened in Japan, Nintendo’s core market, as of now and that could’ve pushed it to $400M if there wasn’t a delayed release.
As such, the film stands strong as the biggest opening for an animated film ever, as it has officially dethroned Frozen 2 from that very spot. The film has pulled in the most patrons since Spider-Man: No Way Home over the 5-day weekend and it’s a good sign for 2023 that we’re seeing a more diverse performance from films, such as Creed 3 becoming the biggest opening for a sports movie.
What makes Super Mario Bros.’ success so interesting is the fact that the film simply fought against its rather critical reception going into the weekend. Perhaps similar to Top Gun Maverick and Avatar: The Way of Water, audiences are simply looking for simplicity and thrill nowadays as other franchises try to add complexity to avoid any fatigue setting in. Is this a new era of video game-based games after the success of Sonic the Hedgehog as well, or are we just seeing nostalgia dominate once again?