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Box office: ‘Super Mario Bros.’ Pacing for huge $128 million plus five day opening


Let the Easter egg hunt begin.

Enlightenment and Universal’s Nintendo video game adaptation The Super Mario Bros. movie has a great start at the box office, looking to score at least $128 million in its five-day domestic debut over the Easter long holiday weekend, after kicking off Wednesday with an estimated $26 million, according to early models.

More optimistic pundits suggest the film could even bring in $140 million to $150 million. (Definitive Wednesday issues will be released Thursday morning.)

SuperMario has every chance of becoming the first blockbuster of 2023, if tracking is any indication. Not only does the PG-rated photo pique the interest of families, it also appeals to the generations of adults who grew up playing Nintendo’s wildly popular Mario games (or those who still play).

The movie opens Wednesday to take advantage of spring break. It also unfolds in 70 overseas markets, opening Wednesday to an impressive $8 million in select Asia-Pacific territories, including a robust $5 million in China.

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.

Ben Afflecks Sky also opens Wednesday and, based on early returns, is looking at a five-day debut in the $16 million range.

Sky is historic as it is Amazon Studios’ first film to be released theatrically 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 99 percent.

The biographical sports marketing drama — starring Matt Damon and Viola Davis — chronicles Nike’s early game-changing days and is backed 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.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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