‘Super Mario Bros.’ Zooms Past $500 Million at Domestic Box Office

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With $1.52 million on Thursday and a new 30-day total of $499.5 million, “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” will pass $500 million domestically sometime Friday, its 31st day in theatrical release. That means the Universal-released blockbuster could be on PVOD ($20 for a 48-hour rental) as soon as Tuesday – but the $100 million Illumination toon has now earned around $1.046 billion worldwide.

It’ll pass “Beauty and the Beast” ($504 million in 2017) and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” ($515 million in 2019) this weekend to become the 17th-biggest unadjusted domestic grosser ever. Its current global total puts it just below “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” ($1.046 billion in 2011).

It ranks second among animated films in North America, behind only “Incredibles 2” ($608 million in 2018), and once it passes the remake of “The Lion King” ($543 million) the whole “Is ‘The Lion King’ animated or live-action?” discourse won’t matter.

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Among global animated films, it’s behind only Pixar’s last two “Toy Story” movies ($1.067 billion in 2010 and $1.074 billion in 2019), Illumination and Universal’s “Minions” ($1.159 billion in 2015), Pixar’s “Incredibles 2” ($1.243 billion) and Walt Disney Animation’s two “Frozen” flicks ($1.276 billion in 2013 and $1.45 billion in 2019). For the record, the “Lion King” remake earned $1.67 billion in 2019. Jon Favreau’s live-action remake also stands as the biggest-grossing PG-rated movie globally, so Illumination’s video game-based movie won’t be able to notch that milestone.

However, domestically, “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” will be the biggest G or PG-rated movie if it passes Pixar’s “Incredibles” sequel. As for how much higher the Chris Pratt/Anya Taylor Joy/Jack Black film can jump, even in pre-COVID times Illumination titles were able to thrive alongside whatever big live-action blockbuster was in the marketplace. That goes back at least to when “Despicable Me” opened a week before “Inception” in July of 2010 right up to “Sing 2” notching $407 million globally opening over Christmas weekend 2021 just days after “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”

Considering that “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” is very good but also long, melancholy and not entirely family-friendly, there’s reason to believe that “Super Mario Bros.” will still be the family movie of choice at least until Walt Disney’s live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid” over Memorial Day weekend. Of course, considering Chris Pratt is the star of both films, it’s a tails-you-lose/heads-I-win situation for the “Parks and Recreation” actor.

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