It’s finally happened! After only 26 days, Illumination/Nintendo/Universal’s The Super Mario Bros Movie is set to reach $1B in global sales tomorrow, making it the first film of 2023 to hit this milestone, and the fifth of the pandemic era. It has already surpassed $900M worldwide and as of Friday, it has reached a total of $970M. Nearly half of this ($483M) has come from the international box office, with $487M from domestic box offices. The movie was released in Korea and Japan this weekend, with strong ticket sales reported in Japan.
This is also the third Illumination film to gross over $1B. Super Mario Bros is already the biggest release of 2023 globally and has now become the biggest animated title worldwide since 2019, and the number one animated studio film in that same time period. It’s also the third biggest Universal animated movie, behind Minions and Despicable Me 3. Additionally, it’s the seventh biggest studio title released worldwide since 2019.
Chris Meledandri’s Illumination studio makes some great movies and he was recognized for that at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, where he received the Excellence in Animation award. He mentioned that he had snuck into three different cinemas on the movie’s opening weekend to watch audiences’ reactions. He was thrilled to see grandparents, couples, children, and people in costumes having an incredible time watching his movie. He realized that at that same time, there were 25,000 theaters around the globe that were playing The Super Mario Bros Movie, bringing joy to people at a time when it is needed the most. Meledandri also noted that the movie history for having the biggest global opening ever for an animated title.
In conclusion, as Meledandri mentioned at CinemaCon, everyone in the industry should work together to maintain the excellence and popularity of the animation genre.