“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” continues to gobble power-ups and records as it surpassed $500 million in global box office sales this week, according to reports.
With just over one week since its release, the film’s earnings — $508.7 million — makes “Mario” the highest-grossing film of the year and the biggest video game adaptation, according to studio estimates cited by Variety.
Nintendo’s animated adventure film surpassed “Warcraft” ($439.4 million), released in 2016, and “Pokémon: Detective Pikachu” ($449.8 million) from 2019.
“Mario” has punched its way to the top of the box office since its Easter weekend release. It shattered the record for the biggest worldwide opening for an animated film with a global cumulative haul of $377 million, besting Disney’s “Frozen 2” debut of $358 million.
Domestically, the blockbuster broke a host of other records, notching the biggest opening of 2023 (previously Disney’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” with $106.1 million); the highest-grossing five-day launch; and the most successful debut for a video game adaptation (previously Paramount’s “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” with $72.1 million).
It also marks the biggest opening haul for Chris Meledandri’s Illumination animation studio (home of the Minions) and the second-highest-grossing domestic debut of any animated film. This is the 11th first-place launch for Illumination, according to the studio.
Set in Nintendo’s fictional Mushroom World, as well as Brooklyn, the film is based on the characters of the iconic “Mario” video game franchise, which has spawned more than 200 games since the debut of its titular character in the 1981 game “Donkey Kong.”
The film, boasting a star-studded ensemble cast, follows two struggling plumbers, brothers Mario (Chris Pratt) and Luigi (Charlie Day), who get sucked through a vortex and into the Mushroom World. While there, they join with Princess Peach (Anya Taylor-Joy), Toad (Keegan-Michael Key) and Donkey Kong (Seth Rogen) in a battle against Bowser (Jack Black).
“Mario” is the second feature film adapted from the video game series. It follows the 1993 live-action film, “Super Mario Bros.,” which took a grittier tone, described by a film critic for The Times as an “edgy ‘Blade Runner’ for teens.”
That film starred Bob Hoskins as Mario, John Leguizamo as Luigi, Samantha Mathis as Princess Daisy and Dennis Hopper as King Koopa (a.k.a. Bowser). Yet it struggled at the box office, grossing a total of about $38 million, and was met with poor reviews from critics.
Times staff writer Christi Carras contributed to this report.