Before The Super Mario Bros. Movie was first released in theaters on April 5, no one could have predicted how much financial success it would have at the box office during its theatrical run and how many broken records it would have.
While critics didn't seem too entertained by the film (it has a 59% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes), the general audience loved it.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie eventually became a must-see film for families and casual moviegoers, becoming the first film of the year to cross $1 billion at the box office. It is still currently the highest-grossing movie to come out in 2023, but that could end up changing as Barbie is not far behind.
Mario Rules the 2023 Box Office
The Super Mario Bros. Movie began its impressive box office run by grossing over $146.3 million domestically in its opening weekend. It also accrued $172.8 million internationally during that same weekend, and the film ultimately netted $377 million globally during that time period, setting multiple records.
When the movie finished its incredible theatrical run, it was able to boast $574.2 million domestically and nearly $784 million internationally, with a total worldwide box-office gross of over $1.3 billion.
The movie's success as a whole translated to it breaking multiple records during its theatrical run, so here are all eight of those records.
1.) Highest-Grossing Movie of 2023
The Super Mario Bros. Movie currently holds the record for the highest-grossing movie of 2023 with over $1.3 billion in total revenue at the worldwide box office. It currently sits above Barbie, which just passed the $1 billion mark, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 ($845 million).
2.) Biggest Five-Day (Wednesday-Sunday) Domestic Opening of All-Time
The animated film also beat out Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen ($200 million) for the biggest five-day domestic opening of all time when it netted over $204 million in North America during those first five days.
It is important to note that the film is nowhere near having the biggest opening of all time; it just has the record for movies that opened on a Wednesday.
3.) Highest-Grossing Domestic, International, & Worldwide Debut for Illumination
Illumination is one of the biggest animated production companies in the world, with titles such as Minions in its library.
That movie, which grossed $115.7 million in its three-day opening weekend, along with Despicable Me 2 ($208 million), was passed by The Super Mario Bros. Movie in its theatrical debut domestically, internationally, and globally.
4.) Highest-Grossing Domestic, International, & Worldwide Debut for a Video Game Adaptation
Video game adaptations historically don't perform well at the box office, but The Super Mario Bros. Movie broke that mold.
It passed 2022's Sonic the Hedgehog and 2016's Warcraft, which each grossed $72.1 million and $210 million, respectively, during its theatrical debut.
5.) Biggest Worldwide Opening of 2023
When the Universal Pictures movie was released on April 5, Marvel Studios' Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania held the record for the biggest worldwide opening of 2023 at $225.3 million, but The Super Mario Bros. Movie quickly smashed it.
6.) Highest-Grossing Video Game Movie of All-Time
As previously stated, films that are based on video games have never really seen huge success at the box office. However, The Super Mario Bros. Movie grossed over $1.3 billion at the global box office, beating out the previous record-holder, Warcraft, which accrued nearly $439 million globally during its run.
7.) Highest Worldwide Animated Opening Weekend Ever
Animated films hold a special place in the hearts of a lot of movie fans, but The Super Mario Bros. Movie topped all its competition once again when it broke the record for the highest worldwide opening weekend for an animated movie.
The previous record was held by Disney's Frozen II which boasted an impressive $358.5 million.
8.) Highest Worldwide Animated Opening Weekend for IMAX
At $21.6 million, The Super Mario Bros. Movie also smashed the opening weekend IMAX record for an animated film.
As IMAX becomes more popular through the years, this record may be broken in the future, but for now, it belongs to the highest-grossing video game movie of all time.
Why Was the Mario Movie So Successful?
Universal Pictures and Illumination captured lightning in a bottle when it came to the theatrical run of The Super Mario Bros. Movie.
Yes, it is an animated movie that whose main audience was families with younger children, but it became a film that everyone could go see and enjoy.
The Mario video game franchise has been around for so long that there are fans of all different ages that have enjoyed the game for decades, so there was definitely an appeal from that audience as well.
However, as can be said with most successful projects, The Super Mario Bros. Movie's success can also be attributed to the strong word of mouth that surrounded it. Many people that went and saw the movie publicly expressed how much they enjoyed it, which likely translated to other people wanting in on the fun.
At the end of the day, The Super Mario Bros. Movie will likely always be remembered for its historic run at the box office. It will probably be a long time before some of its records are broken, especially the ones that are in regard to video game adaptations.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie is available to stream on Peacock.