"SATURDAY PM: Refresh for more analysis … 'It’s still growing tonight' says one rival studio source tonight who happens to be watching the swelling late night ticket sales for Illumination/Universal’s Super Mario Bros Movie which clocked a $56M Saturday (+2% over Friday), for what is now a $146M 3-day, a massive $33,1K theater average, and a record 5-day of –wow– $204.2M according to industry figures tonight. That kicks Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen‘s $200M Wednesday-Sunday opening to second place. Among Easter weekend openings, Super Mario Bros ranks as third behind 2016’s Batman vs. Superman ($181M) and 2015’s Furious 7‘s $161M. If overseas is still at $173M, then the new global opening record for an animated movie set by Super Mario Bros is $377.2M."
I'm in a bit of shock about all this. Usually when an animated film is as critically mixed as The Super Mario Bros. Movie, (56% on Rotten Tomatoes as of now), I feel like that really hurts its chances of performing well at the box office. We've got a freaking Matt Damon-Ben Affleck flick about Michael Jordan titled Air that's earning rave reviews all over the place.
In this instance, as the LCB bros covered the other day, critics seem to be a little too intellectual and have underestimated the power of nostalgia for these beloved, classic Nintendo video games:
Couldn't agree more with this take.
Capital "F" and "C" Film Critics in general bother me with all the flowery language they often use when doing their reviews. It's like they're trying to get a PhD in Filmology and don't know when to shut off their tragically pathetic superiority complexes. Or they fail to recalibrate based on genre, tone, target audience and so on. Like, just be a fucking human being and tell me in layman's terms if a movie as straightforward as this Super Mario Bros. outing is good. Don't give me an esoteric, overly academic think piece.
Look, I'm not above showing off a decent vocabulary. I write for a living after all. But like…these critics that KenJac calls out from some of their review blurbs take it to the next level a lot of the time.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie is going to beat Frozen II for the biggest animated film box office numbers of all-time for its opening weekend. Just for context, check out the full list of worldwide first-weekend grosses, courtesy of Wikipedia:
This goes out to all the professors in undergrad who told me Wikipedia couldn't be listed on those dreaded, weirdly formatted works cited pages. Looks like you were wrong. Because I just did it.
The Minion GIF is relevant beyond just the mic drop, by the way! Stay tuned.
Obviously inflation plays a part in these gaudy, multi-hundred-billion-dollar box office figures. Just look at the years listed. In any event, Illumination and Universal have a fucking monster hit on their hands and a potential long-term franchise all lined up. Hell of a job by them. Illumination has been pretty formidable in the animation space with their Despicable Me trilogy and spin-offs, among other projects — even with Pixar eating up so much oxygen and bandwidth.
Even if The Super Mario Bros. Movie isn't a critical darling, audiences are enthusiastically embracing it. I'm pretty amped up for what Illumination has on the horizon, too. In addition to at least one Super Mario Bros. sequel, their next two slated releases, Migration and Despicable Me 4, are being written by The White Lotus creator Mike White. What a fascinating career that guy has had. Sheesh. So versatile and unpredictable.
OK but I did, in fact, see the brand-new Mario Bros. tentpole several days ago. I had a really fun time with it. Pretty predictable plot, but some actual emotion plugged in there and, even as a kid who never had a Nintendo of any kind growing up, I'll be damned: they still got me all giddy at certain parts. Won't spoil it here.
The way they address the accent of Chris Pratt in the Mario role, well, that won't be for everyone. I thought it was handled nicely for what they were trying to do, yet I also understand why folks like OG Mario Bros. actor John Leguizamo feels a certain type of way.
Don't shoot the messenger. I'm simply passing along information.
Dubious casting aside, theaters are getting PACKED for this one. On one hand, great, I love going to the movies and it seems like every month or two we're all talking about how the theatrical experience is nearing extinction. When you get a box office jolt like this, regardless of the source or merit, that at least provides hope for the future. Or it makes people ready to give up on moviegoing rethink things, perhaps.
All the built-in goodwill surrounding Super Mario Bros. aside, I can't say I saw this type of historic opening coming for this particular movie.
Big Deal Brewing is now live on GoPuff in NYC, Boston, Phoenix and Philadelphia! Stock up before the hockey playoffs and get Big Deal Delivered with GoPuff or find Big Deal at a store near you by visiting bigdealbrewing.com/finder.