If you somehow missed “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” when it was in theaters last spring, and then decided to not sample it when the Illumination toon arrived on the various post-theatrical windows over the last several months (PVOD, EST, DVD, Peacock, etc.), you’ll get the chance to watch it on Netflix in just a few weeks.
The Universal release, which earned $1.36 billion at the worldwide box office to rank behind only “Barbie” as 2023’s second-biggest earner, will debut on the streaming platform Dec. 3.
Netflix has had a pay TV window with Illumination films for the last several years, in what has amounted to a mutually lucrative partnership. In yet another example of how theatrical releases often perform better on streaming services compared to streaming originals, “Sing 2” was the third-most streamed film via its Netflix availability throughout 2022.
This was after the Illumination sequel earned $405 million worldwide in late 2021/early 2022 and after a successful post-theatrical run and taught Hollywood that box office glory doesn’t get in the way of streaming success and quite a few consumers will wait to see a movie — or at least wait to rewatch a movie — until it arrives on Netflix as opposed to VOD or other streaming platforms.
Starring Chris Pratt, Jack Black and Anya-Taylor Joy, “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” became Illumination’s biggest earner ever, by far the biggest-grossing video game-based movie ever and the second-biggest toon ever behind the $1.49 billion-grossing “Frozen II.”
With mixed reviews but strong consumer word-of-mouth, the $100 million Nintendo adaptation opened with over $200 million domestic in its Wednesday-Sunday debut and legged out to $574 million in North America, again second this year only to “Barbie.” It also helped cement Illumination, not Disney, as the king of theatrical animated success.
It also affirmed that there is no longer anything resembling a video game movie curse (see also, Universal’s blockbuster “Five Nights at Freddy’s”) and may be the first of several high-profile Nintendo adaptations. The video game giant just announced a live-action “Legend of Zelda” movie to be directed by Wes Ball and distributed by Sony. And now it’s almost certain to be a late-year viewership smash for Netflix, not that the streaming giant needs the help.