Refresh for latest…: It was just a matter of time. With estimates through Sunday, Illumination/Nintendo/Universal’s The Super Mario Bros Movie is expected to cross $1B global tomorrow, becoming the first release of 2023 to the milestone, and the fifth of the pandemic era. It is getting there in 26 days. Wahoo!
The Aaron Horvath/Michael Jelenic-directed juggernaut sailed past $900M worldwide earlier this week and through Friday is at $970M. Of that, $483M is from the international box office, domestic is at $487M.
This weekend notably included openings in majors Korea and Japan. Through Friday, the Korea gross is $1.65M in second place. In Japan, play is strong.
This is the third title from Chris Meledandri’s Illumination to cross the $1B mark.
Super Mario Bros was already the No. 1 release of 2023 globally. Getting to $1B means that Mario and Luigi now front the biggest animated title worldwide since 2019 and the No. 1 animated studio film in the same period. Super Mario is now Universal’s No. 3 biggest animated film ever, (behind Minions and Despicable Me 3, having overtaken Minions: The Rise of Gru) and theNo. 7 studio title released since 2019 worldwide.
Meldandri was at CinemaCon in Las Vegas this past week and on Thursday picked up an award for Excellence in Animation. At the time, he recounted that on opening weekend he’d snuck into three different cinemas to watch audiences watching the movie. At one, he said the audience was comprised of grandparents, children, couples and people dressed up “just having an incredible time.” He noted, “It dawned on me that at that moment there were 25,000 theaters across the globe that were playing our film and that there was a level of joy that we were providing for those audiences at a moment in time when the world needs joy so badly.” The movie made history with the biggest global opening ever for an animated title.
To the assembled exhibitors, he said, “This whole art form is not going to slip through our fingers because everybody here is determined to make it as great as it’s ever been.”