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Super Mario remains a money-printing machine

  • Illumination and Universal’s Super Mario Bros Movie has had the biggest opening for any animated film ever, uncrowning Sonic The Hedgehog 2.
  • Worldwide the film has grossed $377 million since 5th April, the biggest opening of the year.
  • No stranger to massive commercial success, the Super Mario franchise has sold more than 160 million games in the last twenty years.

Nintendo and its full-cheeked plumber has once again proven that he is a money-printing machine. His latest big screen affair, the Super Mario Bros Movie, starring Chris Pratt, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Jack Black has broken the record for the largest opening weekend of any video game movie ever at $146 million in the US alone.

According to Deadline, the previous record holder was Sonic The Hedgehog 2 at $141 million.

And it isn’t just in the US that Mario and his gang of timeless heroes are raking it in. Worldwide the film has grossed more than $377 million so far since its 5th April release – making it the biggest opening of the year.

The film has managed to do this despite somewhat middling reviews from film critics, some of which have garnered significant controversy online.

One critic from The Guardian called the movie a “lazy animated mess,” meanwhile it manages a 96 percent audience approval score on Rotten Tomatoes.

The film from The Minion’s creator Illumination and Universal Studios, sees Nintendo’s beloved characters brought to the big screen for the first time since 1993. The film, which is a feast of colour and style if the trailers are anything to go by, is a love letter to Nintendo’s Mario video games. It has nods to Mario Kart, Donkey Kong, and more.

It sees plumber brothers Mario and Luigi (played by Pratt and Charlie Day, respectively) transported to the magical Mushroom Kingdom where they meet Prince Peach (Taylor-Joy) and battle the firebreathing Bowser (Black).

No stranger to commercial success, the Super Mario franchise is one of Nintendo’s largest movers of software and hardware. According to GameCubile, over 160 million copies of Mario games have been sold in the last 20 years.

In comparison, Grand Theft Auto V – the best-selling game ever – has sold over 175 million copies since 2013.

Released in 1985, the first Super Mario Bros game for the Nintendo Entertainment System sold over 40 million copies and a cornerstone for video games. The best-selling title in the franchise is Super Mario Bros 3, which is also among the best-selling games to not be bundled with a console ever at 17.28 million copies.

[Image – Photo by Angga Ranggana Putra on Unsplash]

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