The Super Mario Bros. Movie has collected an astonishing $377 million (about Rs. 3,088 crore) at the global box office, shattering all expectations. The figure marks the record opening for an animated movie, beating the one set by Disney’s Frozen 2, which like Mario, had the advantage of building upon an existing IP. Despite dinged reviews, general word-of-mouth and the PG rating appealing to both general audiences and franchise fans have helped bolster its position in the box office race. Roughly $173 million (about Rs. 1,416 crore) were made from markets outside the US — 70 markets — some of which saw a later release on April 7. Meanwhile, the US and Canada received a slightly earlier April 5 release, with the film making $204.6 million (about Rs. 1,674 crore).
Directed by duo Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic, The Super Mario Bros. Movie also marked the biggest-ever opening for a video game movie, besting 2016’s Warcraft movie, which opened to $210 million (about Rs. 1,719 crore). The Mario film has earned a 96 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes and received an A on CinemaScore, which is jam-packed with easter eggs from past games, acting as fan service.
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The film functions as an origin story for Italian immigrant Brooklyn plumbers Mario (Chris Pratt) and Luigi (Charlie Day), who get transported into the magical Mushroom Kingdom, and are drawn into war against the loud-mouthed Bowser (Jack Black). For this mission, Mario teams up with Princess Peach (Anya Taylor-Joy), Toad (Keegan-Michael Key), Donkey Kong (Seth Rogen), and the entire Mushroom army, hurtling across the stars and racing along the Rainbow Road on an adventure of a lifetime.
In Hollywood terms, such success generally translates to a sequel — even Lionsgate greenlit a John Wick 5 film after John Wick: Chapter 4’s glorious opening. In an interview, Jack Black, who plays the villainous Bowser in The Super Mario Bros. Movie, offered his thoughts on a potential sequel. “It’s not a given that Bowser will return. You know, I did a few Kung Fu Panda movies, and it was a different villain every movie. They may do the same thing,” he told Gamespot, building up to tease an even more powerful villain for Mario. “Wario. Pedro Pascal is Wario,” Black said jokingly, hoping his wish comes true.
Pascal, who currently stars in The Mandalorian season 3 as Din Djarin, was last seen in a video game adaptation as well — The Last of Us. In it, he played the grizzled survivor Joel Miller, teaming up with a teenager Ellie (Bella Ramsey) on a cross-country journey across a post-apocalyptic wasteland. The HBO series was well-received by fans and critics alike and is now gearing up for a second season. Oddly enough, back in February, Pascal also played Mario in a parody skit for Saturday Night Live.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie is now playing in theatres worldwide.
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