Film from Illumination Animation and Universal Pictures now boasts the biggest-ever worldwide opening for an animated title.

Jane Neal, Content Editor

April 11, 2023

3 Min Read
Super Mario Bros Merch.
Super Mario Bros Merch. JAKKS/Lush/Monopoly

Super Mario began as an arcade game in the early ’80s and quickly morphed into a video game on the Nintendo system that has entertained and enthralled kids and adults, including numerous remakes and updates. With more than 20 games in the series, it’s not surprising that the fandom for the franchise is huge. 

Since Illumination and Nintendo launched the first trailer for “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” in October,  excitement has been high for Super Mario Bros. fans. The new animated film, based on the world of Super Mario Bros., has already launched numerous licensed products, from Jakks Pacific toys to a Super Mario Bros. Movie edition Monopoly game and even a Super Mario Lush bath collection.  

So far, the film is more than living up to its hype; according to Variety, it brought in $204.6 million domestic and $377 million global over the long Easter weekend. 

Cinemark Holdings, one of the world’s largest movie theater companies, announced that Saturday, April 8, captured the company’s highest single day of attendance since Christmas Day 2019. Although there were several popular films for moviegoers to choose from over the weekend, Illumination Animation and Universal Pictures’ “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” led to that record-breaking attendance.  

Related:Video Games: Licensing’s 1 Up

“The sensational openings of ‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie’ and ‘Air,’ coupled with outstanding ongoing results from a wide range of films across varied genres this long weekend, further demonstrates the sustained strength of consumer enthusiasm for an immersive, larger-than-life, theatrical experience,” says Sean Gamble, president and chief executive officer, Cinemark. “We commend our many studio partners for producing such a diverse array of compelling content that captivated a wide range of audiences and enabled Cinemark to achieve this weekend’s significant attendance milestone. 2023 moviegoing is off to an exceptional start, and we are thrilled for consumers to experience a growing volume of highly anticipated films over the coming months.” 

IMAX Corporation, which is showing “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” on select screens internationally, announced the film delivered the highest animated IMAX opening weekend of all time at the global box office with $21.6 million. The film scored the biggest IMAX opening ever for an animated film in North America with $16.6 million and was the company’s top animated debut in 22 international markets. 

“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,” says Rich Gelfond, chief executive officer, 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.” Internationally, “Super Mario Bros.” achieved the animated title record in the U.K., Ireland, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands and every IMAX market across Latin America, including Brazil and Mexico. The film was also the biggest IMAX opening weekend of all time in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Curaçao.  

“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” will continue its run on the IMAX network next week. 

Last week, License Global reported on some of the top trends in video games, including licensing and films.   

About the Author(s)

Jane Neal

Content Editor, License Global

Jane Neal is a Content Editor for License Global. Working remotely in the great state of Wisconsin, Jane specializes in retail and pop-culture trends.

She has worked extensively in the communication field as a managing editor, advertising copywriter, technical writer and journalist. She detoured for several years into academia where she taught journalism, English and humanities at the college level.

A complete Marvel nerd, she enjoys food, films, fishing, friends and family … and alliteration.

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