Universal and Illuminations The Super Mario Bros. movie is a bona fide blockbuster.
The Nintendo video game adaptation is now on track to gross $80 million or more in its second weekend of play at the domestic box office of 4,371 theaters, notably more than expected and down just 43 percent or so. By the end of Sunday, the PG picture will have domestic revenue of more than $340 million and about $659 million worldwide.
The animated sensation broke numerous records during its launch. And by mid-week, it became the highest-grossing film of the year so far at the domestic and global box office, after zooming past Marvel’s. Ant Man and the Wasp 2. It is also now the No. 1 video game adaptation of all time. o growing, including now ranked as the highest-grossing video game adaptation of all time after passing Warcraft ($439.4 million) and Pokémon: Detective Pikachu ($449.8 million).
A plethora of new movies are opening nationwide this weekend with mixed results, led by Universal’s modern vampire comedy Renfield and Screen Gem’s supernatural thriller The Pope’s exorcist.
Heading into the weekend, many analysts thought Renfield would put number 2 behind SuperMario.
However, now it looks like it Pope’s Exorcist moves ahead with an expected $8.5 million to $9 million from 3,178 theaters. Directed by Julius Avery, Russell Crowe stars as the real-life character Father Gabriele Amorth, a priest who acted as the Vatican’s chief exorcist and who performed more than 100,000 exorcisms in his lifetime. (He passed away in 2016 at the age of 91.)
Renfield, which is on track to open $7 million to $8 million in 3,375 theaters, starring Nicholas Hoult and Nicolas Cage as Count Dracula. The story follows Renfield as he tries to see if there is another life for him after being Dracula’s loyal assistant for centuries. Directed by Chris McKay, Awkwafina stars in the film set in New Orleans.
Japanese anime maestro Makoto Shinkai’s coming-of-age anime adventure Suzume is the only film of the series to receive rave reviews and should gross a decent $4.5 million to $4.7 million from 2,170 theaters for Sony and Cruncyroll. The film was a hit in its home country of Japan late last year and is now rolling internationally after playing in competition at the Berlinale in 2023.
Suzume follows a young heroine who accidentally opens a portal that lets in destructive creatures from another world that cause earthquakes. She must undo the damage before Tokyo is destroyed, aided by a brought to life high chair that contains the enchanted spirit of a potential friend.
Bleecker Street’s crime boss comedy Mafia momdirected by Dusk helmer Catherine Hardwicke and starring Toni Collette opposite Monica Bellucci, there is little to laugh about in his debut. The film is on track to open for less than $3 million from 2,002 locations. Mafia mom is aimed at women 25 and older, a demo that only slowly made its way back to the multiplex. But a bigger problem can be bad reviews.
In the film, Collette plays an American marketing executive who travels to Italy for her grandfather’s funeral only to find out that she has just become a crime boss.
The independent sports biographical film Fresh water, distributed by Briarcliff Entertainment, DOA appears in its debut. The film opens to less than $400,000 in 1,204 theaters, one of the all-time worst screenings for a picture released in more than 1,000 theaters.
Directed by Martin Guigui, the film chronicles the early career of basketball and baseball player Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton, who was a star player for the Harlem Globetrotters before becoming only the second African-American to play in the National Basketball Association when he was recruited by the New York Knicks in 1950. Cary Elwes, Jeremy Piven, Richard Dreyfuss, Kevin Pollak, Robert Ri’chard, Gary Clark Jr., Kevin Daley, Bobby Portis and Eric Roberts also star in Fresh water.
At the special box office, mind blowing filmmaker Ari Aster Beau is scared proves to be a big draw when it launches in four theaters in New York and Los Angeles. The special shot is on track to secure an average of $80,000 or more per location, the best average of the year so far and one of the best in recent history. (In other words, Beau is scared‘s total opening gross could be $325,000, not far behind Mafia mom, even if it only plays in four cinemas). Joaquin Phoenix stars in the film opposite Patti LuPone, Amy Ryan, Nathan Lane and Parker Posey.
More to come.