“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” from Illumination Entertainment had its wide release on April 5, and is already shattering records. The Mario brand’s first major cinematic outing in decades passed “Frozen 2” to hold the record for highest-grossing global opening weekend of any animated film in history. This makes the Super Mario opening the overall best-performing initial release of 2023, too, and surpasses “Despicable Me 2” by over $200 million to be Illumination’s biggest opening ever.
“The Incredibles 2” managed to cling to the domestic opening weekend record, though it’s safe to say this new adventure based on one of the most recognizable video game franchises of all time is on track for enormous financial success.
A Super Mario Cinematic Adventure
“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” stars Chris Pratt as the voice of Mario, with Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach, Charlie Day as Luigi, Jack Black as Bowser, Keegan-Michael Key as Toad, Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong, and Fred Armisen as King Cranky Kong. It’s directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic, with a screenplay by Matthew Fogel.
Bowser — King of the Koopas — seeks to conquer the Mushroom Kingdom and take Princess Peach as his bride. It’s up to the entire team working together, and an alliance with the Kongs, to stop the attack and save the world.
Origins of the Franchise
The Mario franchise itself has been around since the iconic plumber in overalls with a red cap debuted as the playable protagonist in the 1981 video game “Donkey Kong.” 1983 saw the arcade game “Mario Bros.” as a successful follow-up, but the enduring longevity and pop-culture prowess of the franchise truly began when “Super Mario Bros.” arrived on the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1985.
This side-scrolling platform experience captivated global audiences and revived a general interest in video games that had severely waned in 1983. “Super Mario Bros.” sold over 40 million copies, becoming one of the most lucrative games ever produced.
Super Mario Bros. in the Universal Parks
Super Nintendo World — featuring appearances by Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach — just opened in Universal Studios Hollywood. This is the second version of the land, with the first at Universal Studios Japan. A third Super Nintendo World will be at Epic Universe in Orlando, Florida.
Have you seen “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” yet? What are your first impressions? Let us know in the comments.