Super Mario Bros Is On Track To Be Bigger Than Its Greatest Rival
Super Mario Bros is on track for a $90 million opening weekend, which would beat both Sonic the Hedgehog movies, and be one of the best Easter openings of all time.
Long ago, Mario beat Sonic the Hedgehog in the console mascot competition, with Nintendo continuing to produce new consoles featuring the character while Sega stopped creating consoles after the failure of the Sega Dreamcast. And, while the success of the 2020 Sonic the Hedgehog film and its 2022 sequel proved that there’s still plenty of love out there for the blue blur, box office projections for the upcoming Super Mario Bros movie indicate that Mario is still the most popular character. According to Deadline, the film looks like it will make $85-$90 million on its opening weekend — beating out Sonic the Hedgehog’s $58 Million opening weekend, along with Sonic the Hedgehog 2’s $71 million opening.
This expected success comes despite the widespread outrage at Chris Pratt taking the role of Mario in the American release of Super Mario Bros. Pratt has been criticized for not knowing much about the character and for having a voice that’s so far away from the iconic voice made great by Charles Martinet back in 1996. Fans doubt that Pratt, who is best known for playing Peter Quill in Guardians of the Galaxy and Owen Grady in Jurassic World, has what it takes to do the much-beloved character justice.
Of course, it wasn’t just Super Mario Bros. that had its share of controversy before its release. Fans were outraged at Sonic the Hedgehog for its horrible design of the blue hedgehog. Paramount Pictures had the good sense to fix the character’s design by bringing on popular Sonic artist and animator Tyson Hesse — it’s unclear whether Universal Pictures is taking any steps to ensure that Pratt’s voice is at least tolerable in the final version of the movie.
While the projections for Super Mario Bros. are impressive, they’re far from the largest box office achieved by a film that opened on Easter weekend. The top spot belongs to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which brought in over $181 million during easter 2016. The next two spots belong to two different Fast & Furious films — Furious 7 and The Fate of the Furious, which made $161 million and $107 million, respectively.
If Super Mario Bros does meet the current box office expectations, that will make it the fourth-highest-grossing easter opener, right above 2010’s Clash of the Titans, which brought in around $68 million after opening on April 2. When looking at all opening weekends, however, this figure would make the film somewhere between the 101st-biggest opening weekend (currently held by X-Men Origins: Wolverine) and the 77th-biggest (currently held by Guardians of the Galaxy). For reference, the record for the biggest opening weekend ever is held by Avengers: Endgame, which brought in $357,115,007 when it came out on April 26, 2019.
Box office projections aren’t what they used to be. Post-2020, it’s been much harder for studios to predict which films will be box office successes. This means that when Super Mario Bros hits theaters on April 5, it could do far worse than expected — or far better, for that matter.