Enlightenment and Universal’s Nintendo video game adaptation The Super Mario Bros. movie grossed another $26 million at Thursday’s box office for a two-day domestic haul of $58.2 million. The film should now have no trouble raking in $150 million or more in its five-day debut, well above expectations and the best start to the year so far.
Some think SuperMario could come in north of $160 million, but that will depend on how Friday plays out. Abroad, it has already collected $62.5 million for an early global figure of $120.7 million.
On Wednesday, SuperMario started in North America with a massive $31.7 million.
SuperMario has every chance of becoming the first blockbuster of 2023. Not only does the PG-rated photo pique the interest of families, it appeals to the generations of adults who grew up playing (or still play) Nintendo’s wildly popular Mario games. And while critics are mixed on the film, audiences gave it an A CinemaScore.
The movie opened on Wednesday to take advantage of spring break. It is also unfolding in 70 overseas markets.
The animated comic adventure story follows Brooklyn plumbers and brothers Mario (Chris Pratt) and Luigi (Charlie Day) as they are transported to the magical world of Mushroom Kingdom and separated. The film’s voice cast also includes Keegan-Michael Key, Anya Taylor-Joy, Jack Black, Seth Rogen, Fred Armisen, Kevin Michael Richardson and Sebastian Maniscalco. Charles Martinet, who has voiced the characters of Mario and Luigi in the Super Mario games for over three decades, also makes a special voice appearance.
The film is directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic from a screenplay by Matthew Fogel. It is co-funded by Universal, the parent company of Chris Meledandri’s Illumination, and Nintendo.
Easter’s other new high-profile offering is that of Ben Affleck Sky, who has a harder time scoring shots. The biographical drama about Nike’s early pioneering days when it attempted to sign a young Michael Jordan grossed $2.5 million on Thursday for a two-day total of $5.8 million.
Like it SuperMario, Sky opened on Wednesday and is expecting a $16 million five-day debut, which would put it on the low end of expectations and at No. 3 behind Mario and John Wick: Chapter 4.
Sky is historic as it is Amazon Studios’ first film to be theatrically released exclusively in thousands of cinemas around the world before streaming on Prime Video at a date yet to be determined. The film boasts critical acclaim and a coveted Rotten Tomatoes review score of 94 percent. And it got an A CinemaScore from the audience.
The film — starring Matt Damon and Viola Davis — chronicles Nike’s early game-changing days and is supported by Amazon Studios, Skydance Sports and Mandalay Pictures. It is also the inaugural project of Affleck and Matt Damon’s Artists Equity, which the duo co-founded with RedBird Capital last year, and marks Affleck’s first time directing Damon in one of his films.
Sky will also open in numerous overseas markets, where Warner Bros. International handles the distribution tasks.
More to come.