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Super Mario Bros. Movie Breaks Box Office Records for Its Opening

(Image by Illumination/Nintendo)

Mario and company are a huge hit on the big screen.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie from Illumination, Universal Pictures and Nintendo took the biggest opening for a movie so far this year, with over $375.6 million worldwide in its first five days available. In the U.S. the movie earned $204.6 million and $171 million internationally. During its opening three-day weekend the movie grossed $146.4 million domestically, beating out Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania for the record this year.

The movie debuted on April 5 in over 70 markets worldwide in North America, Europe and China, with places like Australia and Brazil also getting the film last week. The movie will release in Japan on April 28.

Super Mario Bros. also broke the international record for an opening of an animated movie held by Frozen 2 and placed second behind the 2019 Disney movie domestically. It also beat Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) for the record of the highest five-day opening domestically. The movie is the highest opening for an Illumination release in theaters and the biggest debut ever for a video game adaptation. Super Mario Bros. cost an estimated $100 million to make.

The movie could potentially make $1.2 billion in total at the global box office and then $2.3 billion for its digital release, according to David Gibson, a senior analyst at MST Financial.

In Super Mario Bros., Mario and his brother Luigi are transported from Brooklyn to a magical world and must help save the Mushroom Kingdom from Bowser, with the help of Princess Peach, Donkey Kong and other characters.

The movie is based on the Mario video games and franchise created by Shigeru Miyamoto and Nintendo, incorporating elements from many of the titles released in the last four decades. The first Mario Bros. game released in arcades in 1983, with Super Mario Bros. released in 1985 for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Mario debuted in the arcade game Donkey Kong in 1981, with Luigi’s first appearance in Mario Bros. The latest game is Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury for the Nintendo Switch that released in 2021.

Illumination CEO Chris Meledandri produced the movie alongside Miyamoto. Meledandri also produced major movies like the Despicable Me and Minions franchises under Illumination. Super Mario Bros. is written by Matthew Fogel, The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) and Minions: The Rise of Gru (2022). The movie is directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic, known for co-developing the animated show Teen Titans Go! and their work on the film Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (2018).

The film features Chris Pratt as the voice of Mario, Charlie Day as Luigi, Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach, Jack Black as Bowser, Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong, Keegan-Michael Key as Toad, Fred Armisen as Cranky Kong, Kevin Michael Richardson as Kamet, Khary Payton as the Penguin King and Sebastian Maniscalco as Spike. The character Spike is the old construction boss of Mario and Luigi that debuted in the 1985 game Wrecking Crew.

Charles Martinet, the original voice behind Mario and Luigi since 1991, makes a special appearance as a few different characters in Super Mario Bros.

Koji Kondo, the composer responsible for many of the iconic sound effects and music across the Mario games, worked on the movie with Brian Tyler. Tyler has composed music for a long list of movies and games, including the Fast & Furious franchise, The Expendables series, Iron Man 3 (2013), Power Rangers (2017), Crazy Rich Asians (2018), Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (2011) and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (2013).

On Rotten Tomatoes the movie’s critic score is currently at 57% and the audience score is at 96%.

The first ever Mario movie released in theaters in 1993, a live-action film also called Super Mario Bros. with Bob Hoskins as the main hero and John Leguizamo as Luigi. The 1993 film wasn’t commercially or critically successful at the time.

Watch the movie’s trailer:

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