Despite Bob-ombing With Critics, ‘Mario’ Is Karting Towards A $140M Five-Day Domestic Opening
In what looks like one of the largest-ever disconnects between critical reception and box office performance of an animated feature, The Super Mario Bros. Movie could power up to a $140 million opening five-day window.
According to numbers published today by Variety, Illumination’s latest pulled in an estimated $31.7 million on Wednesday, well ahead of early projections. Expanding that to the coming weekend, the film’s box office should generate a $92 million haul over the Friday-Sunday weekend and $141 million over its first five days of release.
If those projections hold, the Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic-directed film will land as the second-best five-day debut (Wednesday through Sunday) in Illumination’s history, and the best for a non-sequel. Mario also now poses a very real threat to the company’s current five-day record-holder, 2013’s Despicable Me 2, which raked in $143 million.
In terms of videogame adaptations, the Mario movie is assured to smash the record set by Sonic the Hedgehog 2 just last year. Over its first three days, that film grossed $72.1 million, well short of the $92 million that Mario is predicted to pull in.
Mario’s box office performance seems incongruent when measured against the film’s critical reception, which has been largely negative. The film currently sits at a “rotten” 54% critics’ score on Rotten Tomatoes, with most reviewers feeling let down in terms of character development and plot.
The film’s distributor Universal Pictures isn’t likely to care, however, if audiences continue to show up in numbers.
Globally, The Super Mario Bros. Movie raked in an estimated $66.4 million on its first day, including its domestic haul. According to Deadline, the film had the best-ever opening day for an animated feature in 11 markets including Germany, Spain, Argentina, Central America, and Austria.