Critics be damned! ‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie’ smashes all records

The Super Mario Bros. Movie has already broken box office records
The Super Mario Bros. Movie has already broken box office records Copyright Nintendo/ 2023 Nintendo and Universal Studios
By David Mouriquand
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‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie’ smashes all records and further proves audiences aren’t deterred by negative reviews


Despite negative reviews, The Super Mario Bros. Movie is already a smash hit and fittingly, has been raking in the coins, much like the Italian plumber’s custom.

The animated offering from Universal and Illumination has broken box office records, scoring the most successful global opening of all time for an animated film. It powered up with $204.6 million in its first five days, including $146.4 million over the weekend, according to studio estimates on Sunday.

With an estimated $173 million in international earnings and a global total of $377 million, the film broke records for video game adaptations and animated films. Its global total also makes it the biggest opening of 2023. 

Nintendo / 2023 Nintendo and Universal Studios
The Super Mario Bros. MovieNintendo / 2023 Nintendo and Universal Studios

It’s also a record for Illumination, the animation shop behind the successful Minions franchise, which has made over $5 billion from its 13 films.

“This partnership between Nintendo and Illumination is just incredible and led to this extraordinary performance,” said Jim Orr, Universal's president of domestic distribution.

“$377 million worldwide is just astounding and a testament to how important outside of the home activities are for families,” said Paul Dergarabedian, the senior media analyst for Comscore. “Kids and their parents collectively were able to go out, have an outside the home event for the whole family at a relatively bargain price compared to a trip or a sporting event.”

But is it any good?

No. No it’s not.

The film itself is corporate entertainment at its most soulless, a wafer-thin origin story of plumbers Mario (voiced by Chris Pratt) and Luigi (Charlie Day) that makes you want to reassess quite how dreadful the 1993 Super Mario Bros. film really was.

At the very least, it doesn’t drag at less than 90 minutes, but it genuinely tries to hide how creatively barren it is by beaming a dizzying rush of colours into your retinas.

Still, all the generally negative press doesn’t seem to have deterred moviegoers, who couldn’t care less about sniffy reviews. Because we’d know by now if they did and the Transformers films would have tanked a long time ago…

Even Elon Musk tweeted that "the critics are so disconnected from reality!"

Feel free to draw your own conclusions from that endorsement. 

Something along the lines of Musk being to a connection to reality what Chris Pratt is to neoclassical ballet dancing.

Additional sources • AP

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