After Illumination and Nintendo blasted into theaters with The Super Mario Bros. Movie, an executive from the movie addressed the outlook for making Super Mario Bros. 2.
The first modern animated take on the overall-wearing plumber has seen plenty of mixed reactions, earning a surprisingly low score on Rotten Tomatoes but winning many critics and fans over at the same time.
The animated adventure raked in a historic $370 million in worldwide box office revenue during its first extended weekend. Super Mario Bros. became an instant hit as fans explored the Mushroom Kingdom on the big screen.
And usually, when a movie performs as well right out of the gate as Mario has, the questions turn to whether that success could continue in a sequel.
Studio Exec on Super Mario Bros. Sequel Prospects
Speaking with Bloomberg, The Super Mario Bros. Movie producer and Illumination CEO Chris Meledandri spoke about the studio's potential plans to make a sequel.
When asked directly about whether a sequel seemed inevitable, Meledandri pleaded the fifth in saying that he was "not allowed to talk about that" for the time being, although he wants to tackle it again in the future:
"I’m not allowed to talk about that right now. Clearly I’ll continue to work with them on the board level and we definitely hope to do more things together."
He also tackled the impressive box office revenue the first movie earned in its opening week, calling the results "beyond [his] expectations" by a wide margin:
"My mind is a little bit blown. They are beyond my expectations. I’m extremely conservative by nature, but they are beyond anyone’s wildest expectations. We saw some interesting things over the last eight months. We were looking at search and the correlation between releasing something connected to the movie that we felt was particularly dynamic and observing the response through search."
Meledandri also touched on sequel prospects in a separate chat with Variety, only confirming that he was focused on "bringing the film out to the audience" while leaving the future for a separate time:
"Our focus right now is entirely on bringing the film out to the audience, and at this time, we’re not prepared to talk about what’s coming in the future."
However, he made it clear that discussions for a sequel or another Nintendo property movie aren't completely tabled, saying "I definitely wouldn’t rule anything out."
When Will Super Mario Bros. 2 Happen?
Warning - The rest of this article contains spoilers for The Super Mario Bros. Movie.
Looking at the story and characters laid out in The Super Mario Bros. Movie, there is more than enough material to use for a potential sequel if and when the day comes.
With Bowser now shrunk down to miniature size and Brooklyn under reconstruction, not to mention Yoshi's egg having popped up in the sewers, Mario and Luigi still have plenty of challenges ahead of them.
There's also Princess Peach's revelation about there being countless other universes outside of hers and Mario's, meaning that plenty more will have to be explored at some point down the road.
For now, Chris Meledandri is making sure to keep his focus on the here and now as the first Super Mario Bros. film plants its stake at the box office, already standing as 2023's second-highest-grossing movie behind Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania.
But considering Illumination's willingness to greenlight sequels for films that perform well and exceed expectations, the decision to make Super Mario Bros. 2 happen shouldn't be a difficult one.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie is now playing in theaters worldwide.