Super Mario Bros. movie: 20 million people made it a hit

Universally distributed animated children’s film “Super Mario Bros.” as a four-quarter blockbuster, and it worked.

An animated adaptation of a 40-year-old video game has provided the best argument that cinemas are on the way to a real recovery. “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” (Universal) brought in $146.4 million this weekend and $204.6 million in its first five days. Overall, this weekend grossed an estimated $207 million.

Here’s what’s really impressive: This film had fewer premium screenings, and only 16 percent of attendees bought children’s-price tickets. All told, more than 20 million people in the US/Canada paid to see Illumination’s latest animated film this weekend, and that’s already within $10 million of the total domestic take of “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” (Disney) compared to – currently the largest income among the 2023 expenses.

We haven’t seen a movie (over)perform like this for years. Not a critical favorite (47 on Metacritic), but the appeal of the brand meant that tracking and advance sales were high; it was the first wide family release since “Puss in Boots: The Last Exit” (Universal) more than three months ago.

Much to Universal’s delight, this doesn’t behave like a typical family movie: 84 percent of the audience is 13 or older, 52 percent is 25 or older, and 70 percent of the audience is non-white. The studio managed to market this to a wide audience, with results similar to a typical blockbuster.

A few more surprises like this and the year could be above forecasts. It made a statement this weekend — it’s 34 percent ahead of last year year to date (if successful, this project will total $10 billion in 2023). It was 43 percent ahead of the same (non-Easter) weekend in 2022. Our four-week rolling comparison before the 2019 Covid epidemic rose to 90 percent.

Ben Affleck’s “Air” (MGM), Amazon’s first foray into wide release for an in-house production, is (tentatively) fourth for the weekend with just shy of $14.5 million for the weekend and $20.2 million to the five. initial days.



Ana Carballosa/Prime

“Air” joins current No. 2 “John Wick: Chapter 4” (Lionsgate) and weekend runner-up “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” (Paramount, down 61 percent) to No. 3 “John Wick: Chapter 4” (Lionsgate) and its second weekend (Paramount, down 61 percent) are just $133,000 between the three titles. . During a virtual tie for second place, the final result can be in any order between the three.

Amazon’s R-rated Air Jordan movie also exceeded pre-release expectations by about a third. As a title aimed at adults (initially 39 percent 45+), the initial total is encouraging. The first five days grossed more than the total domestic earnings of all top Oscar nominees except “Avatar” or “Wakanda Forever.”

Its ultimate success will be judged by how well it lives up to the hoped-for word of mouth, as well as its value for expected initial PVOD and later Amazon Prime. Its pre-distribution production budget is $70-90 million; if it reaches the expected domestic total of $50-60 million, it will be less than a breakout.

Still, the added value of attention to Amazon would probably justify the effort. (Most of the world opened this week, but no weekend totals were reported). It will take several releases to be sure of your strategy, but so far so good for theaters.

The rest of the top 10 earned less than $4 million, with holdings falling from less than 40 percent to 65 percent. This is normal when strong new films launch, although sometimes the holiday boosts older films.

“Paint” (IFC), a comedy with Owen Wilson inspired by PBS’s “The Joy of Painting,” opened in ninth place with $750,000 from 819 theaters. It’s an unusually wide release for IFC, averaging under $1,000 per theater, but still a top-tier first weekend for the company. It increases the exposure of films that are likely to be viewed on VOD to increase revenue.

Three other major, more limited editions are promising. Among them, the environmental thriller “How to Build a Pipeline” (Neon) earned the highest revenue. It grossed $120,000 in 12 theaters in six cities. Kelly Reichardt’s acclaimed “Showing Up” with Michelle Williams opened with a two-city, four-theater platform release that took $66,932 for a PTA of $16,733.

JOYLAND, from left: Ali Junejo, Alina Khan, 2022. © Oscilloscope / Courtesy of Everett Collection


Courtesy of Oscilloscope/Everett Collection

“Joyland” (Oscilloscope) stood out from every single theatrical presentation. The Pakistani film is very strong, earning $21,142 at the New York Film Forum, which is a great amount for any subtitled film. Next week sees two new studio releases: “Renfield” (Universal) and “The Pope’s Exorcist” (S0ny). The latter opened to $12 million in 43 territories this weekend.

The Top 10

1. The Super Mario Bros. movie (Universal) NEW – Cinemascore: A; Metacritic: 47; Evening. budget: $100 million

$146,360,000 at theaters; PTA (theatrical average): $33,700; Total: $204,628,000

2. John Wick: Chapter 4 (Lionsgate) Week 3; #2 last weekend

$14,600,000 (-48%) in 3,607 (-248) theaters; PTA: $3,787; Total: $147,067,000

3. Dungeons & Dragons: Honor among Thieves (Paramount) Week 2; #1 last weekend

$14,500,000 (-61%) in 3,856 (+1) theaters; PTA: $3,760; Total: $62,278,000

4. Air (MGM) NEW – Cinemascore: A; Metacritic: 75; Evening. budget: $80 million

$14,467,000 in 3,507 theaters; PTA: $4,125; Total: $20,214,000

5. Scream VI (Paramount) Week 5; #4 last weekend

$3,315,000 (-38%) in 2,286 (-156) theaters; PTA: $1,450; Total: $103,846,000

6. His only Son (Angel) NEW – Week 2; Last weekend #3

$3,250,000 (-41%) in 1,920 (+10) theaters; PTA: $1,684; Total: $11,044,000

7. Creed III (MGM) Week 6; Last weekend #5; Also on PVOD

$2,816,000 (-44%) in 2,002 (-825) theaters; PTA: $1,407; Total: $153,273,000

8. Shazam!: Wrath of the Gods (WBD) Week 4; #2 last weekend

$1,600,000 (-65%) in 2,203 (-1,248) theaters; PTA: $761; Total: $56,603,000

9. Paint (IFC) NEW – Metacritic: 47

$750,000 in 819 theaters; PTA: $916; Total: $750,000

10. One thousand and one (In Focus) Week 2; #7 last weekend

$600,000 (-67%) at 926 theaters; PTA: $648; Total: $2,960,000

Other titles

Films (limited, extended, limited release, and award-oriented release) are listed by week of release, starting with those released that week; after the first two weeks, only films grossing more than $5,000 are listed.

It pops up (A24) NEW – Metacritic: 82; Festivals: Cannes, New York 2022

$66,932 in 4 theaters; PTA: $16,733

How to blow up a pipeline (Neon) NEW – Metacritic: 75; Festivals include:

$120,479 in 12 theaters; PTA: $10,400

Joyland (Oscilloscope) NEW – Metacritic: 81; Festivals: Cannes, Toronto 2022, Sundance 2023

$21,142 in 1 theater; PTA: $21,142

La Usurpadora (Pantelion) NEW

$140,000 in 313 theaters; PTA: $447

I am an architect (Abramorama) RE-RELEASE

$4,832 in 1 theater; PTA: $4,832

A good man (MGM) Week 3

$114,000 in 337 (-340) theaters; Total: $2,111,000

Nam June Paik: The Moon is the oldest TV (Greenwich) Week 3

$12,700 at 5 theaters (+4); Total: $54,093

What the hell happened to the blood, sweat and tears? (Abramorama) Week 3 4

$8,129 at 9 (+5) theaters; Total: $35,229

To move on (Roadside attractions) Week 4

$12,300 at 32 (-100) theaters; Total: $2,085,000

Champions (In Focus) Week 5; Also on PVOD

$510,000 at 427 (-696) theaters; Total: $15,709,000

Back to Seoul (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 7

$41,375 in 51 (-52) theaters; Total: $702,681

Everything Everywhere At Once (A24) week 55; Also on PVOD

$68,572 in 129 (-124) theaters; Total: $77,148,000

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