The Super Mario Bros. Movie has officially joined the one billion-dollar club, in less than a month since its release. As of this past weekend, the animated film collected $1.02 billion (about Rs. 8,357 crore) at the global box office, becoming the first movie of 2023 to pass the milestone. Released on April 7 — April 5 in select regions — Illumination's latest has collected $532.5 million (about Rs. 4,356 crore) from markets outside the US, thanks to general word-of-mouth and the PG rating, appealing to both young and old moviegoers. The film earned $490 million (about Rs. 4,008 crore) within the US and Canada, refusing to slow down throughout the month of April.
The Nintendo-produced film marks Illumination's third animated movie to set the record, after Despicable Me 3 ($1.034 billion/ Rs. 8,457 crore) and Minions ($1.159 billion/ Rs. 9,480 crore). It has also become the highest-grossing video game movie, besting 2016's Warcraft. It is also worth mentioning that The Super Mario Bros. Movie was released in Japan just last week, April 28, so it's still going to rake in money while competing against another Chris Pratt-led movie, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, releasing May 3 in the country. As for its success, besides nostalgia, the Mario movie also benefitted from the fact that in the weeks leading up to its premiere, no other studios released a kids' movie since December 2022. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish was the last major big-budget animated film we saw, which made a worldwide total of $482.7 million (about Rs. 3,948 crore).
Directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic, The Super Mario Bros. Movie features Pratt's voice as the titular Italian plumber, with Charlie Day as brother Luigi, serving as an origin story for immigrant Brooklyn plumbers who get whisked away into the magical Mushroom Kingdom. Mario then teams up with Princess Peach (Anya Taylor-Joy), Toad (Keegan-Michael Key), and Donkey Kong (Seth Rogen) in a war against the loud-mouthed Bowser (Jack Black), who also has Luigi held captive. It's an all-around fun ride filled with easter eggs for dedicated fans, ranging from the shapeshifting Tanooki outfit to a high-stakes race across the sparkling Rainbow Road.
The film currently holds a 59 percent average critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with most pointing out the flawed narrative. As mentioned before, audiences seem to be having a great time with it, earning the film a 96 percent score on the aggregator website. In a recent interview, Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of the original Mario and Zelda games, hinted that the company plans more adaptations based on Nintendo characters. “There are various ways to develop characters (for the screen), including characters that are suitable for film and characters that are well known,” he said (translated from Japanese by VGC).
The Super Mario Bros. Movie is now showing in theatres worldwide.
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