The Super Mario Bros. Movie is looking to break records with its projected $137 million 3-day opening and nearly $200 million 5-day.
To quote Ron Burgundy, “Boy, that escalated quickly!” In our predictions on Thursday it looked like Illuminations Super Mario Bros. movie was heading towards an $87 million 3-day weekend with $128 million for its 5-day total. I thought the film could go higher, saying at least $90 million for the 3-day figure, but still keeping my prediction conservative as to not go too overboard, especially since we already had a heads up on the film’s opening day numbers from Wednesday.
Well, when I went to theaters that Thursday night, I knew my prediction was way off! The theater lobby was packed more than I had seen it packed on a Thursday night in a long time. Parents and excited kids wearing their Mario and Luigi Halloween costumes filled the concession lines, it was in that moment, as I made my way to the theater playing Ben Affleck’s Air, that I knew The Super Mario Bros. movie was going to be massive. And sure enough, the revised estimate for the film is a 3-day take of around $137 million with a 5-day take nearing the $200 million mark. To put that into perspective, this new animated version of the popular video game took in $26.5 million on Thursday alone, that means in just that one day, the film did $6 million more than the live action Super Mario Bros. did in its entire theatrical run back in 1993.
It is safe to say that the absolute dearth of family programming at the box office had been felt. As the last big animated film to release came over four months ago with Puss in Boots: The Last Wish which had a successful run at the box office amassing $185 million over the course of its stay in theaters, which is what mario is putting up in just 5 days! Having seen the film, I can say that the money is well earned. It plays on every level of nostalgia a person in their 30’s loves, while also being just a great family film that is full of genuine laughs. The voice cast is all great, especially Jack Black who quite simply is always amazing. Of course for every film there will be differing views, as much as I loved it, our own Chris Bumbray found it to be just average in his 6/10 review of the film.
One area Mr. Bumbray and I do agree however is with Ben Affleck’s latest film, Air as he gave the film a solid 8/10 in his review. For me, to put it quite simply: Air is an absolutely wonderful film. It is the type of film that in the hands of a lessor director could have been fumbled, but Ben Affleck has proven time and again that he knows how to build tension even when you are watching a true life story for which you already know the outcome . How else can you explain that the climax for this film is a board room pitch meeting and it plays with the exact same level of tension as the final escape scene from Argo?! But here is where the film really shines, Ben Affleck is a funny dude, he has proven that every time he steps in front of the camera for a Kevin Smith movie, and with Air he finally gets to infuse some of his natural comedic talent into the story, not just behind the camera but in front of it. It is my love for this movie that makes me excited to say that even this one is over-performing on this Easter weekend with what is looking like a $13 million 3-day and a $19 million 5-day take. That number is all the most impressive when you consider it could have just been released on Amazon Prime streaming with little to no fan fare. I am elated that Amazon has embraced theatrical exhibition for some of their films, and the numbers they are grabbing (between this and Creed III) are proving it was the right decision (just make sure to give us physical media copies of this movie, I want to own Air on 4K Blu Ray with a nice array of additional features).
With mario vastly over-performing, it will be interesting to see how the PG13 rated Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves fare in its second weekend. Right now numbers look to be about 50% off, but that is based on Thursdays estimates, as of this writing we don’t have Fridays numbers to see how far the film actually fell. But with its $37.2 million opening, I would expect the standard 55-60% drop.
I know its just Saturday, but are you one of the hordes of people who have already seen The Super Mario Bros. movie? Or perhaps the more adult skewing Air was more your cup of tea, let us know in the comments section and don’t forget to check back in with us tomorrow when we have a full rundown on this weekends box office numbers.