‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie’ On Track For $125+ Million Debut

It looks like Nintendo’s gamble with the new animated movie, “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” is about to pay off big time. After rolling into theaters on Wednesday, April 5, it looks like the movie is on track to gross a five-day opening weekend of $127.5 million domestically, per Deadline.

This would account for the second-biggest opening weekend for producer Illumination, the studio behind “Despicable Me” and “Minions.”

‘The Super Mario Bros.’ Movie Poised To Do Huge Business

The new animated movie is a co-production between Nintendo, Illumination, and Universal Pictures. The film opened on Wednesday without early Tuesday previews. This comes out to a $26 million opening day and an $86.2 million projected three-day opening weekend. The current five-day extended holiday weekend total is $127.5 million for Wednesday through Sunday.

Illumination’s opening weekend record is its 2013 sequel, “Despicable Me 2,” which had an opening weekend of $143 million domestically. The film made $368 million domestically and $970 million worldwide. Thus far, Illumination’s largest box office is the 2015 “Minions” animated movie, which brought in $1.159 billion worldwide.

Chris Pratt and Katherine Schwarzenegger at the Los Angeles Special Screening Of Universal Pictures, Nintendo And Illumination Entertainment's 'The Super Mario Bros. Movie'

By comparison, Paramount Pictures and Sega’s live-action “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” movie had a $26.3 million opening day, including Thursday previews, in April 2022. That film holds the opening weekend record for a movie based on a video game at $72.1 million. So “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” is poised to smash that record this weekend.

“Sonic the Hedgehog 2” made $190 million domestically and $405 million worldwide. So, “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” now has the box office potential to surpass “Sonic 2.”

“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” isn’t riding high on critic reviews right now. The film only has a 54% rating from Rotten Tomatoes critics. However, its audience score is 95%, and fans seem excited about it.

Super Mario World Theme Park
Universal Parks and Resorts

The only other new movie out this weekend is Ben Affleck’s take on the story of creating the Air Jordan sneaker line, “Air.” “Air” also stars Affleck as Nike CEO Phil Knight and Matt Damon as Nike executive Sonny Vaccaro, who makes it a mission to sign NBA rookie Michael Jordan to the company. Deadline also reports that “Air” is projected to bring in $10.1 million for the three-day weekend and about $16 million for the five-day haul, which would be solid.

Lastly, in its second weekend, Deadline notes that “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” is looking to bring about $20 million for its second weekend. That wouldn’t be too bad of a drop of about 45 percent. “Dungeons & Dragons” and “Air” are getting good reviews. Strong word of mouth will likely help “Dungeons & Dragons” in its subsequent weekends.

Jack Black 5

The last time “The Super Mario Bros.” was in theaters was the greatly maligned live-action film starring the late Bob Hoskins as Mario, John Leguizamo as Luigi, and Dennis Hopper as King Koopa. The film was a gigantic bomb, keeping Nintendo from adapting more of its beloved properties as films for over 30 years. The new animated movie looks to change all that and could spark a new era of features and motion picture adaptations of Nintendo properties.

The animated film boasts an all-star cast, including Chris Pratt as Mario, Charlie Day as Luigi, Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach, Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong, and Jack Black as Bowser, King of the Koopas. The film is now in theaters.

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