‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie’ Sets Record-Breaking $204 Million Debut at the BO!!

At close to 10PM PST last night, we told you that Illumination/Universal’s Super Mario Bros was still raking in business. As of this morning, the feature take of the Nintendo game didn’t gross $56M, rather a near $57M,for what is now a $146.36M 3-day, massive $33,1K theater average, and a record 5-day of –wow– $204.6M, per Universal this AM. That kicks Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen‘s $200M Wednesday-Sunday opening to second place among 5-day U.S./Canada records.

Among Easter weekend openings, Super Mario Bros ranks third behind 2016’s Batman vs. Superman ($181M) and 2015’s Furious 7‘s $161M. If overseas is still at $173M by tomorrow AM, then the new global opening record for an animated movie set by Super Mario Bros stands at $377.2M.

In regards to U.S/Canada admissions, Super Mario Bros counts over 17M for the five-day weekend, per EntTelligence, repping over 74% of the nation’s overall moviegoing foot traffic. Since Covid, that’s the most amount of patrons since Spider-Man: No Way Home. This movie played like an everybody movie, not just a family film, evident in its attendance throughout all day-parts. EntTelligence says that 26% of Super Mario‘s audience went after 7PM, vs. 20% before 1pm, 28% between 1pm and 4pm, and 26% between 4p-7pm.

Exclaims Universal Domestic Distribution Chief Jim Orr this morning, “The incredible partnership of Nintendo and Shigeru Miyamoto’s iconic characters, with Illumination and Chris Meledandri’s unbeatable filmmaking and storytelling prowess, has led to this combustible moment at the worldwide box office. Audiences of all ages and backgrounds have flocked to theatres to revel in this extraordinary big-screen celebration.”   

Thirty-eight percent of Super Mario Bros‘ weekend domestic box office came from Imax, PLF, motion seats, and 3D screens. 3D drove 15% of the gross. For Imax, Super Mario Bros is their highest opening of all-time for an animated movie, with a global take of $21.6M. That figure includes the $16.6M stateside record for the pic at 403 auditoriums.

“2023 has now yielded our best opening ever for an animated film, sports movie, and local language release — demonstrating the strong diversification of our slate and soaring demand for the IMAX Experience across all audiences,” said Rich Gelfond, CEO of IMAX. “Illumination and Universal did an excellent job launching this new franchise, building on the great momentum we’re seeing at the global box office as a very promising summer blockbuster season approaches.”

Super Mario Bros in U.S/Canada beats the previous opening record set by Disney/Pixar’s Incredibles 2 and it beats the previous global debut of Disney’s Frozen 2.

On a 3-day basis, it’s close to a three-way tie for second place between Amazon’s Air ($14.4M as of Sunday), Paramount/eOne’s Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves ($14.5M second weekend, -61%, $62.2M cume) and Lionsgate’s John Wick: Chapter 4 ($14.6M third weekend, -48%, $147M cume). However, Amazon’s first global day-and-date release Air is definitely hitting $20.2M, a great start for a non-tentpole dramedy aimed at adults. That provides a lot of hope for other distributors with similar fare. The amount here for Air would make late MGM/Amazon Distribution Chief Erik Lomis beam, as he championed Air to pivot from a Prime Video debut to the big screen. Saturday for the Ben Affleck-Matt Damon-Viola Davis-Chris Tucker-Jason Bateman movie is $5.8M, +16% over Friday.

“This is the first time a streamer has stepped up and released a film globally theatrically. Kudos to Mike Hopkins and Jen Salke for listening to Erik Lomis when he believed in this movie and its theatricality,” says MGM/Amazon Theatrical Distribution Exec Kevin Wilson.

“Kudos to Amazon’s marketing and publicity team: R-rated adult dramas haven’t been easy to find audiences, and getting Air to $20M is a great feat,” Wilson added.

Damon and Affleck praised Lomis’ force behind the theatrical release of Air at the LA premiere of the film:

Even though Air cost a reported $90M before P&A, and Amazon shelled out $125M to land the Artists Equity/Skydance Sports/Mandalay project, forget about the economics of it all (as the tech conglom has deep pockets), and let’s celebrate the fact that a streamer has ponied up and fully embraced a theatrical release for the second time –and they didn’t hide grosses. Also, you have to think that Apple’s ears are pricking up as they embrace a theatrical model for their big movies going forward, with Ridley Scott’s Napoleon and Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon. At $14M+, it’s Amazon’s second-best opening at the domestic box office, after MGM/UAR’s Creed III ($58.3M) back in March.

By far, the biggest factor working in favor of Air is its release date. There’s nothing really competitive going up against this older skewing (49% over 35) title in the weeks to come, especially as far as R-rated dramedies go. April is filled with genre movies and female skewing titles like Book Club 2, Love Again, and Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. It’s not until you get to Memorial Day weekend when Lionsgate’s Sebastian Maniscalco comedy, About My Father, arrives in theaters. That lack of competition, plus Air‘s exit scores, is what can leg it out in the weeks to come.

Amazon shelled out $50M+ stateside in marketing to open the movie, and made it known to audiences that they should show up. There were two premieres for Air: SXSW’s surprise closing night and LA with stars showing up to all three.

The pic’s change-up to theatrical came at the end of January, with a marketing campaign that kicked off with a global trailer on Feb. 9, followed by a custom 60-second Super Bowl spot on Feb. 12. That trailer was also attached to all screens of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which, before Super Mario Bros., owned 2023’s biggest opening weekend at $106.1M, or 7M admissions (per EntTelligence). The trailer also ran on Creed III and John Wick: Chapter 4.

Other marketing stunts for Air included a national sneaker-cleaning activation across multiple markets, an exclusive partnership with Jason Markk, and a social rollout that brought to life the nostalgia of the ’80s in a reimagined and authentic way.

AIR partnered with creators and influencers from the sneaker community – rallying behind the “A shoe is just a shoe” mantra from the film – to further bring life to Michael Jordan and Nike’s legacy, and build a narrative around greatness and triumph.

Also fueling Air‘s profile were 550 global word-of-mouth screenings across the U.S. and 43 international markets between March 20 and April 4. Those attending included sports fans, sneakerheads, cinema loyalty membership programs, military/army bases, college/HBCUs, AARP, and multicultural targets. The program launched with specialty tastemaker screenings in NY, LA, Atlanta, Miami, Chicago, and London.

Early Saturday, the CMO of the No. 3 chain in the nation celebrated the big box office weekend:

“The Super Mario Bros. Movie’s strong performance with the family audience this weekend is just another example of the consistent consumer enthusiasm for seeing great films on the big screen,” said Wanda Gierhart FearingCinemark Chief Marketing and Content Officer. “Moviegoers have demonstrated time and time again that they crave the immersive, cinematic experience only theaters can provide, and Cinemark looks forward to welcoming them as fantastic new movies continue to come to our auditoriums. Congratulations to our partners at Illumination Animation and Universal Pictures for generating so much excitement around such a beloved brand.”

Meanwhile, IFC’s Paint didn’t turn out to be a record opening, as industry estimates forecast on Saturday AM, but did post $750Kfor a $916 theater average at 819 locations.

The chart…

1) Super Mario Bros Movie (Ill/Uni) 4,343 theaters, Wed $31.7M Th $26.5M Fri $54.8M Sat $56.87M Sun 3-day $146.36M, 5-day $204.6M/Wk 1

2.) John Wick: Chapter 4 (LG) 3,607 (-248) theaters, Fri $4.8M (-39%), Sat $5.9M Sun $3.8M 3-day $14.6M (-48%), Total $147M/Wk 3

3.) Dungeons & Dragons (Par/eOne) 3,856 theaters, Fri $4.85M (-68%), Sat $5.8M Sun $3.85M 3-day $14.5M (-61%), Total $62.2M/Wk 2

4.) Air (Amazon) 3,507 theaters, Wed $3.2M Thu $2.4M Fri $5M Sat $5.8M Sun $3.5M 3-day $14.46M, 5-day $20.2M/Wk 1

5.) Scream VI (Par) 2,286 theaters (-156), Fri $1.2M (-20%) Sat $1.37M Sun $690K 3-day $3.31M (-38%), Total $103.8M/Wk 5

6.) His Only Son (Angel) 1,930 theaters, Fri $1M, Sat $1.25M Sun $1M 3-day $3.25M (-41%), Total $11M/Wk 2

7.) Creed III (MGM) 2,002 theaters (-825), Fri $1M (+112%) Sat $1.1M Sun $681K 3-day $2.8M (-44%), Total $153.2M/Wk 6

8.) Shazam! Fury of the Gods (WB) 2,203 (-1,248) theaters, Fri $600K (-50%) Sat $600K Sun $400K 3-day $1.6M (-65%), Total $56.6M/ Wk 4

9.) Paint (IFC) 819 theaters, Fri $293K, 3-day $750K/Wk 1

10.) Thousand and One (Foc) 926 theaters Fri $200K Sat $240K, Sun $160K 3-day $600K (-66%), Total $2.9M /Wk 2


via Deadline

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