“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” leaped to the top of the box office in its long Easter weekend opening with a $377 million global haul, beating “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’s” $225.3 million to become the biggest worldwide debut of the year yet.
The Nintendo-Illumination-Universal collaboration amassed $204.6 million domestically in its first five days, shattering already-stellar projections of up to $195 million. Meanwhile, 70 overseas markets brought in a total of $173 million, with the largest bulks coming from Mexico ($27.4 million), the U.K. and Ireland ($19.6 million), Germany ($14 million), China ($12 million) and France ($10.4 million).
The Chris Pratt-led picture’s release also marked the biggest animated opening of all time, besting the $358.2 million global launch of “Frozen 2.”
It also overtook Illumination’s own five-day record for “Despicable Me 2” ($143 million) and three-day record for “Minions” ($115.7 million).
“It’s a phenomenal number all around,” said Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, president of distribution for Universal Pictures International, as per Variety. “The film is based on incredible IP, which is beloved by people of different generations – young and old. This is great news for the industry.”
Among video game-to-film adaptations, Paramount’s “Sonic the Hedgehog” series has been only the other major success story. Last year’s “Sonic The Hedgehog 2” netted $190 million in its global debut, with $72 million coming from North America.
“This is one of the biggest box office over-performances in recent memory and is absolutely shattering all pre-release projections,” Comscore analyst Paul Dergarabedian told The Hollywood Reporter. “Mario officially says ‘game over’ to the video game movie adaptation curse.”
The box office records also shattered initial critical reviews and an early backlash following the announcement of Pratt’s casting in the titular role.
Co-produced by Mario’s own creator Shigeru Miyamoto, “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” follows Mario and Luigi, a pair of Brooklyn plumbers transported into a magical kingdom and entangled in a battle between good and evil. The film stars Pratt as Mario, Charlie Day as Luigi, Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach and Jack Black as Bowser.