‘Super Mario Bros.’ Proves That Universal Has a Box Office Gold Mine With Nintendo

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Multiple generations showed up to see Mario and Bowser on the big screen, showing the power that video games now have at the box office

The Super Mario Bros. Movie
The Super Mario Bros. Movie

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A generation of kids who grew up playing “Super Mario Bros.” on the NES in the 1980s are now adults in their 40s, and they’re just as responsible as the kids of today for “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” earning one of the biggest box office launches ever seen from an animated film.

The five-day opening numbers for Universal/Illumination’s take on Nintendo’s most famous character are staggering: $204 million domestic and $377 million globally, the latter setting a new animation record by beating the $358 million Thanksgiving weekend opening of “Frozen II” in 2019.

Domestically, the three-day opening of $143 million has topped post-shutdown films like “The Batman” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” and is second only to “Incredibles 2” ($182 million in June 2018) on the all-time animation opening weekend list.