The Super Mario Bros. movie could be the best movie of 2023
Marvel, DC and more are coming, but it’s not too early to suggest that the Nintendo-based animated clash could be the highlight of the year.
None of the top three ranked college basketball teams made it to the NCAA Final Four — but if you think that’s outrageous, Nintendo can do one better.
Already the best film released this year, “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” (Universal), the seven-day total (Wednesday-Tuesday) is heading towards 245-250 million dollars. With nine months to go, there are plenty more movies to come from Marvel (“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3”) and DC (“The Flash”), as well as franchise titles such as “The Fast and the Furious,” “Mission: Impossible ,” “Indiana Jones,” the live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid,” and more.
Even so, two cartoon plumbers with a vaguely Italian accent might be enough for them all. This could be the number one domestic release in 2023.
Based on the first-week doubling, $500 million is a reasonable estimate. To be the best of the year would require at least $600 million—a figure that doesn’t require too much optimism. Historically, the biggest pre-summer animated releases boast an astounding 3.5 multiple over the first seven days. These include “Zootopia,” “The LEGO Movie,” “How to Train Your Dragon” and “The Lorax,” all four of which, like “SMB,” were not sequels.
©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection
For “SMB,” this suggests a final figure of $900 million. Now, that unlikely – the new film benefited from a Wednesday opening and the best week of school holidays. Also, the higher the initial gross for the first week, the lower the multiple for the next. None of the previous titles grossed $100 million (albeit with lower ticket prices) in their opening weeks.
Its Nintendo roots have piqued the interest of kids and adults alike, as has the vacuum of family movies since Christmas. However, films that fit more into the family quadrants tend to see smaller declines than films like “SMB” that achieved four-quadrant appeal.
At this point, even a quick drop would lead to $500 million under normal circumstances. (Figure: 50 percent weekend drop in weeks two and three, and 30 percent in week 4: That would bring in $500 million in 28 days). A strong hold is more likely due to Wednesday’s open, which would depress the “SMB” weekend total.
Another factor that previous animated compositions didn’t have to deal with is PVOD. Based on the universal policy, “SMB” can be available for home viewing as early as its fifth weekend.
Courtesy of DreamWorks Animation
However, PVOD does not necessarily affect the theatrical performance of animated films. Universal’s “Puss in Boots: The Last Exit” was available at home after 17 days and reached 75 percent of the total.
Finally, in the last two years, we’ve only seen three movies gross over $600 million. Is There Another Movie That Could Be 2023’s ‘Top Gun: Maverick’?
This is why if “SMB” achieves a gross of this high or above, it can take the crown.
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